Football

Published: Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 5:28:00 PM
Updated: Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 5:38:50 PM

Football coach: We can beat any team

Malaysia football coach, Ong Kim Swee (third from right) is upbeat ahead of the final group stage tie against Vietnam on Tuesday. SEA Games defending champions Malaysia need only a draw to progress to the semis. - BERNAMA

Malaysia football coach, Ong Kim Swee (third from right) is upbeat ahead of the final group stage tie against Vietnam on Tuesday. SEA Games defending champions Malaysia need only a draw to progress to the semis. - BERNAMA

NATIONAL Under-23 coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee is in buoyant mood ahead his side’s final Group A match against Vietnam at the Zeyar Thiri Stadium in Naypyitaw on Tuesday.

The defending champions are second in the group with seven points after three matches and need just a draw against Vietnam to top the group and advance to the semi-finals.

Third-placed Vietnam have six points from three matches and must win to qualify for the final four round as Singapore have already wrapped up their campaign with eight points to confirm one of the berths.

Kim Swee believes that his boys can beat any team if they can show the same kind of spirit and determination which led them to fight back and hold Singapore to a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

Malaysia played their best game in the competition against Singapore but were unlucky to just collect one point.

Kim Swee, who rotated his squad for the last three matches, remained cryptic about his squad selection ahead of the match.

“Singapore played a defensive game and it became harder when they packed their defence after going ahead. Luckily, our players never gave up and managed to get the equaliser,” said Kim Swee.

“Our players showed tremendous fighting spirit against Singapore and that attribute will be vital against Vietnam.

“I’m confident that whoever I pick will do their best for the team.”

Vietnam got their Group A campaign off to a perfect start by thrashing Brunei 7-0 but stumbled to a 1-0 loss to Singapore before bouncing back with another big win – 5-0 – over Laos.

But the win over Laos came at a price as Vietnam’s defender Sam Ngoc Duc was red-carded. He will serve a one-match ban and miss the Malaysia match.

 “We have to be careful ... they will come into the match looking for a win. They will also be confident after beating Laos 5-0,” said Kim Swee.

“They are fast, especially in their counter-attacks ... they also have depth in all departments. It will be a tough fight.”

Tags / Keywords: SEA Games, Naypyitaw, Myanmar, football, Ong Kim Swee

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