Home work done, now Harimau Malaya want to play

Home work done, now Harimau Malaya want to play

PETALING JAYA: Ask any Malaysian national player what they think of Vietnam – their opponents in the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-finals on Sunday – and they will just say this: “Watch out for the No. 9 and No. 10.”

The national players may not know the duo’s names but they were obviously referring to the twin threats in the Vietnamese strike force – Le Cong Vinh (No. 9) and Nguyen van Quyet (No. 10).

Even national Under-23 coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee, sent on a “spying” mission to Hanoi last week, mentioned the threat posed by the two Vietnam players.

It is obvious that national coach Dollah Salleh and his men have watched all the video recordings of the Vietnam team, who topped Group A in their AFF Suzuki Cup campaign in Hanoi.

 “We played against the same Vietnam team in a warm-up match in Hanoi last month (which Malaysia lost 3-1). We know what they are capable of. They are simply fast on the break and our defenders will have to be on their toes,” warned leftback Mohd Zubir Azmi.

Dollah admitted that “it is no secret both teams know each others’ strengths and weaknesses”.

“But it’s good to know in advance what to expect from this Vietnam side,” said Dollah.

Striker Cong Vinh was the hero for Vietnam when they won the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup.

The 29-year-old scored the winner in stoppage time against Thailand (3-2 on aggregate) in the final six years ago.

This time, he has scored twice in the group matches – against Indonesia (2-2) and Laos (3-0).

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