Malaysia’s first choice right-back believes the experience of playing Indonesia twice in Jakarta will put him and his teammates in good stead against Thailand
Defender Mahalli Jasuli does not fear taking Thailand on at the Supachalasai Stadium in Bangkok.
The 23-year-old defender claims the experience of playing two finals in front of a hostile Indonesian crowd has thought him to handle pressure better.
“The pressure is there after we drew at home, but me and a few other players have experienced more intense situations in Indonesia before,” Mahalli told Berita Harian.
In the 2010 AFFSC final against Indonesia, Mahalli was part of the squad that had to enter Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in armored vehicles. This was done to ensure the safety of Malaysian players and officials who were the target of angry Indonesian crowd.
Mahalli went through it all over again at last year’s SEA Games final, where Malaysia triumphed 4-3 on penalties over the Garudas.
“Playing in Bangkok would not be a big problem, if each and every player is fully focused on trying to win the match," he said.
The Malayan Tigers will play heavy favourites Thailand on Thursday in the second leg of the semifinal, after drawing 1-1 in the first on Sunday.