thumbnail Hello,

In the post-match interview, Malaysian head coach Ong Kim Swee commends his boys and is optimistic of the squad's future

After producing a repeat performance of their previous 2-1 win over the Under 23 Myanmar side to capture the 2013 Merdeka Tournament, the Young Tigers' coach Ong Kim Swee had nothing but praise for his charges in the post-match interview.

He told the media that the win was due to the fact that his boys had followed his instructions and played well as a unit. "Playing attractively would not have amounted to anything if we had failed to win the match. It was the final, after all."

Speaking on his decision to field both Rozaimi Rahman and Thamil Arasu in the match, he explained that he had done so in order to play a more attacking game from the start. Rozaimi previously had only started for Malaysia in the tournament, in the final group match against Thailand, in which he scored two goals. His other goal in the final match means that he has emerged as the tournament's top scorer. Arasu meanwhile had been Kim Swee's first pick in the tournament, starting all but one match for the hosts.

Kim Swee also took the time to commend the performance of the squad's goalkeeper; Izham Tarmizi, who he thinks has the potential to be the country's number one goalkeeper. In all four matches, Izham conceded only one goal, and he produced a number of brilliant saves against Myanmar to keep Malaysia's narrow lead.

Overall, the 42-year old coach believes that there is still room for improvement for his squad, and he hopes that his players who play for club sides in the Malaysia Cup will be fit after its conclusion, for the upcoming SEA Games.

Finally, he also stated his belief that the 56-year old Merdeka Tournament is still a prestigious international tournament, and that better teams are going to participate in future editions.

Myanmar manager Thin Mynt Aun was graceful in defeat. He congratulated and thanked the hosts, and promised to prepare his team to better face Malaysia in the future.

He also explained that his team will next be heading to South Korea, for their 2013 SEA Games preparation.

Follow Zulhilmi Zainal on