Striker Shahrel vows not to let jitters take over in cruncher against Myanmar

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian striker Muhammad Shahrel Fikri has vowed to do better against Myanmar after being a bundle of nerves in their 2-0 defeat against Vietnam in Hanoi on Friday.

In the first two matches against Cambodia and Laos, the former Nakhon Ratchasima player impressed as he constantly tormented defences with his direct runs and deft touches.

His impressive performances were rewarded when Malaysia’s coach Tan Cheng Hoe started the 24-year-old as a top striker but he did not create much of an impact as he was constantly bound by Vietnam’s tight defence led by Que Ngoc Hai.

“It was not my best performance. I was nervous against Vietnam. I only had one shot at goal and it was not good enough,” said Shahrel.

“No one can dispute Vietnam’s reputation in Southeast Asia but we dominated possession. We only lacked a good finish,” he said.

Shahrel, who is the first Malaysian to feature in the Thai League 1, said he would bounce back against Myanmar.

“I am aware of Myanmar’s prowess and also their main man Aung Thu. He played in the Thai League and was impressive,” he said.

“Myanmar have a complete team and their confidence is high. If the Malaysian attackers are able to unsettle their defence, then we have a chance of winning.”

When asked if he was comfortable playing in the number 9 role, Shahrel said he would leave it to the coach to decide.

“Coach gave me the chance to play as a top striker against Vietnam. I used to play in the number 9 role for PKNP but this season, I’ve been often used on the flanks.

“I’m willing to play anywhere. My duty is to do my best and score goals for Malaysia,” he added.

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Sport , AFF Suzuki Cup , Malaysia


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