Syafiq ruled out for two weeks due to injury

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia suffered a blow as they will play without striker Syafiq Ahmad (pic) in the return leg against Timor Leste tomorrow at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) player has been ruled out for at least two weeks due to medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury.

The 23-year-old was stretchered out in the 12th minute in their first-leg 7-1 win during the joint 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup preliminary qualification on Friday.

Malaysia coach Tan Cheng Hoe said he would look at other options.

“Syafiq has been confirmed with MCL after a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. He’ll need two to three weeks of rest,” said Cheng Hoe.

“It’s a big blow. He is a valuable player as he plays a key role in our attacking movements.

“I’ve one more day of training to decide the replacement for Syafiq.”

Cheng Hoe has the option of choosing from veteran striker Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Shahrel Fikri Md Fauzi, Faisal Halim or Faiz Nasir.

“I may reshuffle the line-up. We’ll keep the same way of playing because that’s our way of moving forward in the game.

“There will be no change of tactics, just a change of players.”

The disparity of standard between Malaysia and Timor Leste in the first-leg was glaring as Harimau Malaya were far superior in all parts of the game.

A repeat of such performance during the qualifying campaign would be great for the national team’s confidence and Cheng Hoe is hoping for the boys to churn out consistent performances.

“I’m positive and I believe we are on the right track. We’ll be facing the best teams in Asia in the second round,” he said.

“We’ve got the right mix of young and senior players. I’m building this team for the future, and I see a good balance in the team,” he added.

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 0
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Football

Soccer-Tottenham end unhappy relationship with Conte
Soccer-Ronaldo leads the way as Portugal hit six of the best
Soccer-Italy back on track with 2-0 win over Malta
Soccer-Smiling Saka lights up England again
Soccer-Kane on target again as England ease past Ukraine
Soccer-Frank talk inside Dutch squad after France defeat
-Soccer-Russia ease past Iraq in first home international since Ukraine invasion
Soccer-Denmark suffer late collapse in 3-2 loss to Kazakhstan
Soccer-Mbappe looking to reach new heights with ambitious France
Injured Southern Tigers Arif and Dos Santos can’t roar for Harimau Malaya

Others Also Read