Malaysia head coach Cheng Hoe craves win over Indonesia in AFC qualifiers

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – The string of successes chalked up by the Malaysian squad in several matches prior to this have clearly boosted the spirit of its chief coach, Tan Cheng Hoe who is hunting for a positive outcome over Indonesia at the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup qualifying round at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tonight.

The 51-year-old conceded that a win over the Garuda squad would be a most meaningful ending for him this season, but he was still vigilant at the threat posed by the opposition team following four consecutive losses at the current qualifying campaign.

‘’Tomorrow’s match is our last this year, and we want to get a positive result. Despite having beaten Indonesia 3-2 at an action prior to this (away match), the match tomorrow will be different because Indonesia will be lined by several new faces and coach,’’ he told a pre-match media conference yesterday.

The Harimau Malaya shocked 116th world ranked Tajikistan 1-0 at a friendly action on November 9, before beating Thailand 2-1 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, five days later.

Cheng Hoe regarded the influx of local supporters who were expected to fill the venue tonight would give additional tonic to the players in giving their best performance on their own turf after trouncing Thailand at the qualifying round.

Speaking on the absence of two pillars, namely striker Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad and right back Matthew Davies, who missed the action against Thailand, Cheng Hoe is confident the existing line-up could shoulder the task.

Syafiq and Matthew were suspended for one match after collecting two yellow cards at two qualifying rounds against Vietnam and Thailand.

Midfielder Shahrul Mohd Saad echoed his coach’s view, revealing that his teammates in the defensive position had started to become compatible during the match against Thailand, and is confident it could be conjured once again when they face Indonesia.

FROM LEFT: Indonesia national head coach Yeyen Tumena, Indonesia national player Yanto Basna, Malaysia national team player Shahrul Saad and Malaysia national head coach Tan Cheng Hoe during a media conference yesterday. PHOTO: BERNAMA