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Thursday September 12, 2013 MYT 3:41:00 PM
Thursday September 12, 2013 MYT 3:44:29 PM
by k. rajan
KUANTAN: National Under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee admitted having a selection headache ahead of the Merdeka Tournament final against Myanmar at the Darul Makmur Stadium on Saturday.
In Wednesday’s match against Thailand, the 43-year-old coach fielded second stringers - centreback Shahrul Mohd Said, strikers Rozaimi Abdul Rahman and S. Sivanesan, and midfielders Nazirul Naim Che Hashim, Mohd Nasir Basharuddin and Saiful Ridzuwan Selamat. The team passed with flying colours, winning 3-0 and recording their biggest win in the competition.
Nasir was on target for Malaysia in the 12th minute with Rozaimi scoring a brace in the 28th and 82nd minutes.
Kim Swee, however, said the headache is a “pleasant one”. He added that he is impressed by his players’ determination to proof their worth for a place in the final.
The former international also added that players will need to do more than just score goals to win a place on the team, as he will also be looking at overall contribution.
“It was a good performance from the players. I must stress that I pick players on their overall contribution to the team and not just because they score goals or are big names.
“We all know that Rozaimi has the goalscoring touch. It’s not surprising that he scored but he still has to work harder.”
Thailand coach Kairung Threejagsang conceded that they were beaten by a better side and his team would have done better if they had had their full squad and were not fatigued.
The War Elephants missed the steely presence of skipper Mahamasabri Awaebuesa who was suspended.
“If we had not conceded the second goal, we could have gotten back into the game,” said Kairung.
“The Malaysian side made major changes to the team and their players were fresher and much more eager for the win. Our players were fatigued and we definitely missed our skipper in the match.”
Tags / Keywords:
football, Merdeka Tournament, Ong Kim Swee, Shahrul Mohd Said, Rozaimi Abdul Rahman, Kairung Threejagsang
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