Wednesday, 3 September 2014 | MYT 10:03 PM
National U-23 boys urged to stand tall at Asiad
Asian Games chef de mission Datuk Danyal Balagopal visiting the Malaysian football team at Wisma FAM. — M. AZHAR ARIF / The Star
PETALING JAYA: Chef-de-mission Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah has advised the national Under-23 team not to have an inferiority complex at the Incheon Asian Games from Sept 19-Oct 4.
Malaysia are drawn in a tough Group A with hosts and three-time winners South Korea, Middle East giants Saudi Arabia and Laos. Malaysia will kick off the football competition against South Korea on Sept 14.
Despite the uphill task, the National Sports Counsil (NSC) and the Sports Ministry have set the team a target of reaching the quarter-finals.
“The group looks hard, with Saudi Arabia and South Korea in the fray, but I think the competition at the Under-23 level is more open,” said Danyal when he dropped by Wisma FAM to visit the team on Wednesday.
“This is an Under-23 competition and the teams are not as strong as their senior sides. We shouldn’t go there with an inferiority complex. I don’t see why we can’t reach our target in Incheon.”
Meanwhile, national Under-23 coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee said he will drop five players from the 25-man training squad after a friendly against Yemen’s senior side at the Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday.
The team then will play a warm-up game against China’s Under-23 side in Qingdao on Sept 8 before starting their Asian Games campaign.