PETALING JAYA: National skipper Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak believes the friendly match against Tajikistan in Dushanbe on Friday gives the team a chance to improve Malaysia’s world ranking.
The national team are ranked at 151st in the world, while Tajikistan are ranked No.124 but Aidil feels that a win is still possible for the Harimau Malaya.
The Persian Lions failed to qualify to the AFC Challenge Cup for the first time this year and lost their last friendly match 2-1 to Estonia in June, giving Malaysia a glimmer of hope to spring an upset.
“We need to win this match to improve our world ranking... we have also been winless for some time so it will be a good morale booster ahead of the AFF Suzuki Cup,” said Aidil before leaving to Dushanbe on Tuesday.
“Everyone wants to do a good job against Tajikistan because coach Dollah will be looking to pick players for the AFF Suzuki Cup in November.
“I’m confident that everyone will give their 100% for a win. It will be a hard match but we will try our best.”
New national coach Dollah Salleh have retained Aidil as the team’s captain for his first assignment against the Tajiks.
The centreback was previously given the armband by interim coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee for the friendly match against The Philippines in February.
Dollah said the 27-year-old Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) stalwart was picked based on his character, experience and leadership qualities.
“I’m happy to retain the armband and I hope I can do a good job as the team’s captain,” said Aidil who celebrated his 27th birthday on Sunday.