BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Malaysia right back Syahmi Safari was forced to sit out of their first leg 2018 AFF Championship final match against Vietnam last Tuesday, which ended in a 2-2 draw, due to his suspension.
He was made ineligible following his sending off in the earlier match, their 2-2 second leg draw against Thailand, an encounter which saw Malaysia advance on away goals and also the defender score his first ever international goal.
For the second leg final in Hanoi this Saturday, the 20-year old is expected to return to the starting line-up, to help the Harimau Malaya capture their second title.
"I'm raring to go out there, I can't wait to play again. I missed the atmosphere of playing at home in the first leg, but my teammates did a very good job.
"They came back from going two goals down, and if I am picked in the next game, it'll be an honour to receive the trust," explained the Selangor player.
But first, he and the team must acclimatise to the nippy December air in Hanoi. While the temperature during the last time the two sides met in Hanoi, in their November 16 Group A match which ended in a 2-0 win to Vietnam, was not markedly different to Kuala Lumpur's, this time around it has dropped to around 15°C.
The team only arrived in Hanoi for the final on Thursday, and have less than 72 hours to get themselves conditioned to playing in the cold.
"Admittedly, it will take time for us to get used to the chill. But many of us had played in the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship in China early this year where it was even colder, and we can adapt to this.
"It's kind of nice to get to play in this weather again, but we have to acclimatise to it as quickly as possible. There won't be any special measures taken by the coaching staff, so it's down to us, the players, to get ourselves used to the cold in the remaining two days," he remarked.
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Malaysia have only two days to acclimatise to the 15°C temperature in Hanoi, before their second leg 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup match against Vietnam on Saturday. Find out how Syahmi Safari feels about playing in the nippy weather. #affsuzukicup18 Cuaca malam di Hanoi kini mencecah 15°C, menjelang pertemuan akhir Piala AFF kedua Malaysia menentang Vietnam. Ketahui pendapat Syahmi Safari bermain dalam suhu sebegini