BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Some good news for Malaysia fans, ahead of the Harimau Malaya's second leg 2018 AFF Championship final match against Vietnam this Saturday.
Experienced centre back Aidil Zafuan, who was injured and missed the first leg match last Tuesday, which ended in a 2-2 draw, has revealed that he has recovered fully.
Missing his leadership, the hosts at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium conceded two quick goals early in the first half, but clawed their way back to level the tie at the final whistle.
"I've recovered fully and am free of my injury, so now it's up to the coach whether to field me or not in the second leg.
"If I am fielded, I'm going to be all in," declared the Johor Darul Ta'zim player to the press, when met at the airport just before the team departed for Hanoi on Thursday morning.
He also mentioned the need for the team to retain their never-say-die attitude, which has served them well so far in the tournament.
In the second leg semi-final match against Thailand in Bangkok, Malaysia had to chase the game twice after going behind, before surviving a late penalty scare. And against Vietnam, they had to do it from two goals down.
"I saw from the very first day of the training camp, that there is harmony among the squad. And when there is harmony, the effect will translate onto the pitch in the form of the desire to always fight back.
"That's one advantage that we have; that we will never give up whatever happens. I admire my teammates for having this atitude," he explained.
But paradoxically, the 32-year old player also said that he hopes that they will never have to harness this particular spirit in Hanoi.
"I prefer that we don't have to call upon this attitude, as I want us to lead first on Saturday! It's not healthy to be trailing too often.
"So we want to avoid pressure in the encounter and want to go in front for a change, to give ourselves some breathing room," remarked Aidil.
When asked whether playing at the My Dinh National Stadium is an experience that will intimidate the side, he dismissed the notion.
"Yes, the stadium will be packed with the home fans, but there will not be as many of them as what we had at Bukit Jalil.
"The venue on Saturday has a capacity of only 40,000, so we will take the fight to Vietnam, despite their two away-goal advantage," noted the defender.
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