KUALA LUMPUR: The national team’s world ranking which is better than that of opponents Sri Lanka, is no guarantee for Harimau Malaya’s players that they can take things easy when they face off in a Class A international friendly at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo tomorrow night (Friday).
According to national team captain Zaquan Adha Abd Radzak, Sri Lanka who are ranked World No 199 compared to Malaysia who are 171st does not mean that they will have it easy, as the Sri Lankans will be playing on home turf in front of their fans and it should be tough match on the cards.
“For me and my fellow national teammates, this will be anything but an easy task. Even though it is an international friendly but it is an important match nonetheless because it is preparations for us before we take part in the AFF Cup next month (November).
“Time is also not on our side as we only managed to train together for just three days before we left for Colombo. So I am hoping that we can gel well together as a team in order for us to get the better of our opponents tomorrow (Friday),” said Zaquan when met at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) before leaving for Colombo last night (Wednesday).
For the record, Sri Lanka are coached by Mohamed Packeer Ali and they have recorded one win from three friendly matches that they have played so far, a 1-0 win over Bangladesh, while they played out a scoreless draw against the Maldives and went down 0-2 to India.
Speaking further especially on the new faces in the national side, he stressed that having new additions to the squad should not present any problems.
“As I have said before, each and every player has something that they bring to the team. So the new players should be able to help bring about a positive impact to the team.
“The new players also provide coach Tan Cheng Hoe with more options and he can use the friendly matches to test out strategies and tactics as well as experiment to find out the best first-eleven,” added Zaquan.
After their friendly match against Sri Lanka in Colombo, Cheng Hoe and his charges will then return to Malaysia for another friendly match at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Melaka where they will be up against more formidable opponents in the form of Kyrgyzstan who are ranked World No 91. The last friendly match will be against the Maldives on November 3 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.