Malaysia Under-22 secured a morale booster ahead of the vital AFC Under-23 Championship qualifiers after they beat Myanmar Under-22 2-0 in a friendly match played at Shah Alam Stadium on Thursday night. With the qualifiers kicking off in a week's time, the win is a timely one which would put the team in the right frame of mind before travelling to Bangkok.
Malaysia will play in Group H of the qualifiers where matches against Indonesia, Thailand and Mongolia awaits. The group winner will automatically qualify for the finals in China in 2018.
Leading the team for the qualifiers would be captain, Adib Zainudin who played as part of the back three against Myanmar. The FELCRA FC centre back defended stoutly throughout the match and is happy with what the win could give to the team.
Poor weather midway through the first half wreaked havoc on any plans that Datuk Ong Kim Swee have for the team to show and Adib echoed the same sentiment.
"Yes, with the win tonight it gives us the confidence injection to do well in the AFC. We were lucky because we couldn't our usual game because of the wet pitch so we couldn't applied what the coach wanted. So coach Ong asked us to keep it simple and that's what we did," said Adib to Goal after the match.
The defender was played on the right hand side of a back three with Irfan Zakaria and Adam Nor Azlin to the left of him. The formation has been building since the tour of China, just under a month ago.
Having already played five matches in this formation, Adib is confident that the players have adapted well to the system and that it could be effective when the competitive fixtures comes around.
"This formation focuses a solid defence that's why we used 3 at the back. Since we've already played the competitive games in China as well as against Myanmar, we are more comfortable with it now," added Adib.
Malaysia starts their qualifying campaign with a match against Indonesia on 19 July 2017.