Hiddink aware of Malaysia and Kim Swee's giant-killing reputation

Sports Regime
Datuk Ong Kim Swee's Malaysia U-23 will take on Guus Hiddink's China U-23 in their Group J AFC U-23 Championship qualification match, this Tuesday.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

After seeing his China U-23 side down Philippines U-23 8-0 in their 2020 AFC U-23 Championship qualification Group J match on Sunday, head coach Guus Hiddink has turned his attention towards their following match this Tuesday, against group hosts Malaysia.

Speaking in the post-match press conference to a room full of local journalists, questions were understandably focused on the coming encounter.

China are currently top of the group after two wins, while Malaysia, the only viable challenger to their supremacy in the group, are second with three points after one match. 

While on paper China are the favourites, Malaysia and their head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee have gained quite a reputation as giant killers in the past year.

In 2018, they edged Saudi Arabia 1-0 in their AFC U-23 Championship group match, before defeating a very strong South Korea U-23 2-1 in the Asian Games' group stage.

When asked by Goal, the renowned Dutch coach admitted that he has been keeping an eye on the Young Tigers' recent exploits.

"We have seen them live and you mentioned the results against strong, strong teams; very good results for them. That means they can perform at a high level. Malaysia have a few skillful and adventurous players and I like seeing them play. I can't pronounce their names because pronuncing their names in your language is difficult; I'll break my tongue!

"It (Tuesday's game) will be a difficult game for us and a good experience for my team. It will be a closer tie than our last two, which is good for the boys because it will be good to see how they execute the plans," said the 72-year old trainer.

The match on Tuesday will be held at the Shah Alam Stadium, 8.45 pm.

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