Datuk K.Rajagopal will be hoping his boys can claim a win and deflect some of the unwanted pressure away from the team
Malaysia will be looking to improve their pre-AFFSC form on Wednesday as they host Hong Kong at the Shah Alam Stadium tomorrow in an 8pm friendly match.
Following two defeats on the trot, the Malayan Tigers will take to the field for the third time in twelve days looking for a victory - to boost the team’s morale ahead of the upcoming regional tournament.
The home team’s preparations haven’t been plain sailing at all, as losses to Vietnam and Thailand have invited plenty of criticism onto the team and head coach Datuk K.Rajagopal. For this game, with all his players fit, the coach is expected to name his strongest line-up yet. Captain Safiq Rahim and defender Fadhli Shas are likely to be reinstated to the starting eleven after giving the Thailand game a miss due to injuries.
On the other side of the pitch, visitors Hong Kong will be led by acting head coach Kim Pan-Gon, after Scottish-Australian coach Ernest Merrick resigned from his post less than three weeks ago. This will be the South Korean’s first match in charge since taking over, and his task has been made more difficult with record scorer Chan Siu Ki out of the squad. Pan-Gon will however have the services of chief playmaker Lam Ka Wai available to him.
The two countries only played each other as recently as last month, where Malaysia took home the spoils with a 3-0 win in Kowloon. A similar result this time will definitely do more good than harm for the reigning Southeast Asian champions’ confidence.