It was an outcome which everyone expected after the end of the Airmarine Cup and it was confirmed today that Malaysia will have to be involved right from the very start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar Preliminary Round 1 after Malaysia dropped one place from 167 to 168.
That means that Malaysia did not manage to overtake Singapore like what Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) had hoped for with the introduction of the Airmarine Cup. In the Airmarine Cup played in March, Malaysia lost 0-1 to Singapore in the first match which ruined any hope overtaking their Causeway rivalls.
Even though Tan Cheng Hoe's men recovered to beat Afghanistan 2-1 in the second match, which gave Malaysia valuble points, the gap to next highest Singapore actually increased from six points to 12 points. Malaysia gained only one ranking point from the two matches played.
The teams in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) zone who are in position 35-46 will contest in home-away fixtures that is expected to take place on June 6 and June 11. The draw will be made on April 17 at the AFC house in Kuala Lumpur.
Being the highest ranked team in the Preliminary Round 1, Malaysia will be in Pot 1 together with Cambodia, Macau, Laos, Bhutan and Mongolia. While Pot 2 will have Bangladesh, Guam, Brunei, Timor Leste, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
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