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Asian Cup Qualification

  • March 5, 2014
  • • 22:00
  • • Tahnoun Bin Mohamed Stadium, Al-'Ayn (Al Ain)
  • Referee: V. Kovalenko
  • • Attendance: 311


  • Mohammed Al Sarori 60'

Yemen - Malaysia Preview: Harimau Malaya set to go for the jugular

Yemen - Malaysia Preview: Harimau Malaya set to go for the jugular

Azhari Yusop

Harimau Malaya will be looking to go all out against the Middle East side with spot at 2015 Asia Cup potentially at stake



Sadeq - Al Zubairi- Abdurabu - Fuad
Al Kyat - Baleid - Al Worafi - Boqshan

Al Hagiri - K. Mohammed

Bunyamin- Aidil - Amiridzwan - Zubir
Nazrin - Safiq - Hafiz - Kunanlan

It all boils down to this one particular game. The very reason behind Rajagopal's exit was the fact that he struggled to fulfill his promise of taking Malaysia into the 2015 Asian Cup by merit. When they squandered against Bahrain last November, their chances were pretty much over.

But mathematically, there is still a slim opportunity for Malaysia to make the cut, but they need to be the best third placed side in all the qualifying group. Iraq currently lead the pack with 6 points, while the Malayan Tigers are on four. Technically speaking, if Iraq and Lebanon both lose their final qualifying game, Malaysia could potentially make it for the Asian Cup, if they defeat Yemen on Wednesday.

It may all seem too delicate, but the possibilities are endless when it comes to football. All that matters is what happens on the pitch, and that is precisely what Ong Kim Swee will be aiming to do. There were so much of positive signs in that game against Philippines last week, but this time around, it'll be a different ball game.

These are matches in which experience can prove to really be pivotal. And that is precisely why we will probably see Malaysia head out with household names on the team sheet. Expect to see Amri Yahya pulling the strings, while Safiq Rahim is likely to start alongside Hafiz in midfield. Of course, there is always the option of using Badhri Radzi (Piya), and that could be another option that Kim Swee would love to explore.

Yemen are not exactly a stellar outfit, but they have a pretty strong squad that can pose a significant threat. Al Hagiri in particular, will have to be kept at bay and Ong will be looking to have Aidil and Amiridzwan do exactly that. Another name that could be dangerous is Al Worafi, who loves dominating the middle of the park.

There is plenty of incentive for Ong Kim Swee to hit the jugular for this one. Not only is there a slim though real chance for Malaysia to make the Asian Cup, but there is also a massive need for him to prove himself. Many regard him as the interim national team coach, as the Football Association of Malaysia continue their hunt for a bigger name to take charge, but Ong Kim Swee would certainly love to keep the job.

Malaysian fans can be extremely skeptical at times, and Ong would only do himself a favour by winning over the fans. If anything, it has to start with a good result on Wednesday. Maybe just maybe, the 'interim' word could be eliminated from his job description.

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Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Yemen YEM
Yemen Yemen
Malaysia MAS
Malaysia Malaysia

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Yemen YEM
1 - 2
Malaysia MAS
Yemen YEM
0 - 4
Malaysia MAS
Yemen YEM
0 - 2
Malaysia MAS