|IZHAM TARMIZI||VS||YANDI MUNAWAR
Time and again in the tournament, the 22 year old goalkeeper has proven himself a worthy man to guard his team's goalmouth, especially during a time when his defenders seem to be shaky. Against Vietnam, thankfully the defence played and protected him better, but that still did not stop their danger area from being relentlessly assaulted by their opponents who needed a win to advance to the semis. Izham rose even higher to the occassion to keep the ball out and help his team absorb the onslaught for almost the whole duration of the match, a team performance which was described by many fans as "heartstopping".
Against the Indonesians, Izham must keep doing what he has been doing since the first day of the tournament, and keep a tighter leash on his defenders. Not to take the match lightly, but if some fans think of the current set of Young Tigers sub-par due to the absence of several injured key-players, the Indonesians are having it worst. From their previous four matches, they could only convert three goals, and Izham is likely to have an easier time this Thursday morning.
And it is this lack of goals that at one point threatened the Young Garudas' chances of making it to the semi-finals. In fact, they only qualified by registering a slim 1-0 win over hosts Myanmar whose head coach did not fully understand the tournament qualification rules. So striker Yandi Munawar need to take their second lease of life in the tournament by performing better and scoring for his team against their rivals. He has only scored one goal so far, and even then it was against the lowly Cambodia. Malaysia do not play well when trailing, a circumstance he can take advantage of by scoring first.