Work-in-progress Malaysia take on New Caledonia in friendly


National team training at Wisma FAM . -- M. Azhar Arif/The Star 23 May 2016

PETALING JAYA: The under-fire national football team will be looking to salvage some pride when they take on New Caledonia in the second match of their Tour of Oceania at the Numa-Daly Magenta Stadium in Noumea on Wednesday.

Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s men suffered an embarrassing 2-0 loss to world No. 193 Papua New Guinea in their opening Tour of Oceania match last week. It dented the national team’s hopes of improving on their No. 173 ranking in the world.

Kim Swee expects another tough test against the 2015 Pacific Games champion and world No. 183 New Caledonia.

“New Caledonia won’t be easy, they will be as tough as Papua ... plus, they have home advantage,” said Kim Swee in the pre-match press conference on Tuesday.

“We’re in a transition period ... our previous results have been inconsistent and we’re in the midst of rebuilding the team.”

Kim Swee will be without centreback Mohd Shahrom Kalam and the versatile Mahali Jasuli through knee injuries. Shahrom is doubtful for the game while Mahali has been sent home to recover.

Malaysia will complete their Tour of Oceania with a friendly against Fiji on June 26.

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