The Harimau Malaysia squad are currently en route to Manila for a friendly match against the Azkals — in preparation for the impending 2019 Asian Cup matches.
The Philippines vs Malaysia friendly will be happening on the 22nd of March at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila, 7.30 pm.
Malaysia’s national football team head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee has urged his players not to underestimate this fixture against the Philippines just because it’s a friendly.
According to Datuk Ong Kim Swee, every match is important as it will help the team assess their performance and to improve their international ranking. And of course, it would also help Datuk Ong Kim Swee keep his job.
Harimau Malaysia’s lacklustre performance and early exit from the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup has put Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s job and reputation in jeopardy. If the Tigers fail to turn things around, things could be well over for the national coach.
However, things could take a positive turn, as Kedah’s captain Baddrol Bakhtiar is feeling quite positive about the team’s preparations against The Azkals.
The 29-year-old midfielder is confident that the national squad can put up a good fight if they just focus and play together as a team.
“I’m definitely hoping that we bounce back in this match against the Philippines.” Baddrol told the media after being crowned Player of the Month (February 2017) by PFAM.
“There will be some changes in strategy, nothing major, but it will definitely yield a positive result for us.” he added.
Baddrol also noted that Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s doubtful future in the squad does not affect the team’s focus.
“That’s not for us to worry. Our job is to focus on the game and to win.” Baddrol added.
Will Harimau Malaysia secure a win against the Philippines? What’s your prediction for the match?