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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 -- Beware of defensive lapses, cut down on individual mistakes and enhance teamwork.
These are the three factors national team head coach Tan Cheng Hoe is hoping for when the Harimau Malaya take on Uzbekistan in their second and final Tier 1 international friendly at the Amman International Stadium in Jordan tomorrow night.
Having seen his men hammered 4-0 by Jordan in their first Tier 1 international friendly on Wednesday (Oct 6), Cheng Hoe is keen to prevent his men from suffering a similar fate against world number 84 Uzbekistan.
“The team must give more attention to the defence so that we do not let in easy goals due to individual mistakes. We must also raise our teamwork to stop Uzbekistan from scoring.
“We have analysed the team’s weaknesses and now we’ll have to take to the field against Uzbekistan with whatever we have. We must at least put up a good fight,” he said in a media conference held virtually today.
Cheng Hoe admitted that, on paper, Uzbekistan clearly are the better side, with Eldor Shomurodov, who plays for Serie A side AS Roma, leading their attack.
The coach also said that he might field a different set of players against Uzbekistan, compared to the one who took on Jordan, so as give every player sufficient opportunity to prove their capabilities.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat stressed that every player called up to don the national jersey this time had his own qualities despite certain quarters assuming that they are not national team material.
“Although we know they (Uzbekistan) are a good side, we will fight till the end for the sake of our pride and that of our supporters back home.
“Whatever happens, we are determined to give Uzbekistan a good fight tomorrow,” said Khairul Fahmi, who hopes to represent the country in the 2020 AFF Cup in Singapore in December.
Apart from the AFF Cup world number 154 Malaysia will also be competing in the third round of the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers next year for a place in the Finals.
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