Malaysia eyes AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final berth

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national team is targeting a semi-final berth for the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup, the team’s head coach said on Tuesday.

The Harimau Malaysia reached the semi-finals four times in the last five editions of the tournament. In the latest edition, the Malaysians defeated Vietnam 5-4 on aggregate in the semi-finals but finished second to Thailand.

“First and foremost, we must concentrate on qualifying from our group to make the semifinals. After that, we’ll see what could happen”, Ong Kim Swee told local newspapers.

The 45-year-old coach has announced his 23-player squad for the tournament, leaving out attacker Safawi Rasid and the injured duo Nasir Basharuddin and Ahmad Khuzaimi Piee.

“I believe I have gathered my best squad, and I can see my team going far. We are not there yet, but we are an improving team”, he said.

Full squad:

GK:  Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, Khairul Azhan Khalid, Hakim Khairul Nizam Jothy.

DF: Fadhli Shas, Khairul Helmi Johari, Rizal Ghazali, Matthew Davies, Nazirul Naim Che Hashim, Ronny Harun, Shahrom Abdul Kalam.

MF: Amri Yahyah, Ahmad Fakri Saarni, Hadin Azman, Irfan Fazail, Zaquan Adha Radzak, Baddrol Bakhtiar, Syazwan Zainon, Shahrul Saad, S. Veenod.

ST: Safee Sali, Darren Lok, Ahmad Hazwan Bakri, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha.

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