The fact that Thailand cruised to the semi final after going unbeaten in Group A does not scare national chief coach Datuk K. Rajagopal. He is optimistic that Malaysia can upset Thailand and win in the first leg semi-final Sunday night.
Speaking to Bernama, he said "Based on their record, Thailand appear to have the edge over Malaysia in making it to the final." He also mentioned that he has faith with Harimau Malaya to perform better than Thailand tomorrow despite the fact that Malaysia have not won against the same side since 2004.
Datuk K.Rajagopal told the reporters after attending a team manager meeting at Seri Kembangan near here, Saturday, "As they (Thailand) have strong players in all departments, I have reminded my players to play with full concentration in this crucial match."
Rajagopal also said that the weather condition will not give any advantages to either team. If it rained during the match, the soggy pitch would bring no difference as the visitors also played under similar condition when they played against Philippines in Bangkok on Nov 24.
National team manager Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal shared the same opinion as he was confident that the squad were capable of reaching the final and defend the title that they won in Indonesia in 2010.
Thai coach, Winfried Schafer said he rated Thailand chances as 50-50 as Malaysia is also a strong side.