BUKIT JALIL,. Mohamadou Sumareh is heading into tomorrow’s gargantuan semifinals clash with Asian powerhouse Thailand feeling confident he and his teammates can come off with a result as they chase a finals berth for the first time since 2014.
In that clash Malaysia took a 3-2 lead from the home leg but lost 2-0 in Bangkok giving Thailand their fourth Asian Football Federation Suzuki Cup title.
Sumareh is Malaysia’s first ever naturalised player and at 24 is among the youngsters in the team that head coach Tan Cheng Hoe is building for the future. Sumareh plays on the right wing and his combination with Selangor right-back Syahmi Safari provided the first goal against Myanmar in their last group match.
However ,in tomorrow’s match Sumareh will need to drop into midfield and defence if Malaysia are to contain the relentless Thai attacks. Thailand have scored 15 goals to date comapred to Malaysia’s seven.
“Everyone knows tomorrow’s our highlight match of the competition as Thailand are one of the favourites if not the favourites to win the cup,” said Sumareh when met at the pre-match press conference at Bukit Jalil today.
“In my opininon it’s crucial for us to try and keep to the game plan and stop their attacks and if we do that we can get a positive result.”
Sumareh was seen on social media visibly upset after Malaysia lost 1-0 away to Vietnam in their third group match. he had to miss the second game due to him pulling his hamstring but Malaysia won that match 3-1 against Laos.
Not wanting to feel too sorry for himself, Sumareh picked himself up and is feeling confident heading into tomorrow’s crunch match.
“The big crowd during the Myanmar game really boosted my confidence and it has not waned since,” said Sumareh.
“Every game I want to do good by improving my performance. All of us in the team can sense the entire country behind us, cheering us on to get a result and it’s been a great motivational tool for the team.
“Hopefully I’ll put on a another good performance tomorrow.”
On not having scored in the competition, Sumareh replied: “I want to win first and if I score it’s a bonus as a player. Football’s a team sport and if I get an assist and we win I’m more than happy.”