Malaysia will face Cambodia later today in Phnom Penh as Tan Cheng Hoe continues his preparation towards the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup. The two teams are also slated to meet in this year's edition in the group stage and this match serves as a pre-cursor to the actual competition.
Coincidentally, both teams also played each other in the first group stage match of the 2016 edition and Malaysia came out trumps in that match, albeit with plenty of difficulties. The 3-2 scoreline achieved two years ago proved to be Malaysia's only win in the the group stage and thus, went out early in the competition.
Malaysia's coach then Ong Kim Swee saw his side twice go behind as Chan Vathanaka showed his mettle and calmness in front of goal to grab a brace. Syazwan Zainon scored the first equaliser with a thumping shot before Amri Yahya levelled proceedings for the second time in the match.
Substitute Safee Sali became the hero when he came on to great effect to score the vital winner, 10 minutes before the end of normal time. Thus Malaysia started with a win at the Thuwanna Stadium but that was to be the only positive from that tournament.
Interestingly enough, only three players from the starting line-up on 20 November 2016 are in the squad to face Keisuke Honda's Cambodia on Monday. Khairul Fahmi, Shahrul Saad and Syazwan are the only ones with the bad memories of facing Cambodia.
With this match being the last friendly before returning to club fixtures, Tan is likely to give more opportunities to untested players or at least look to refresh the squad with some changes, coming three days after the poor 2-0 loss to Chinese Taipei.
Malaysia XI: Khairul Fahmi, Matthew Davies, Shahrul Saad, Shahrom Kalam, Rizal Ghazali, Irfan Fazail, Amri Yahyah, Baddrol Bakhtiar, Hazwan Bakri, Syazwan Zainon, Darren Lok
Cambodia XI: Sou Yaty, Soeuy Visal, Prak Mony Udom, Keo Sokpheng, Chan Vathanaka, Sos Suhana, Nub Tola, Chreng Polroth, Chhin Chhoeun, Sok Sovan, Ruos Sam Ouen