SEA Games: Harith Haiqal, Azri Ghani likely to miss bronze medal clash against Indonesia
From Ahmad Nazrin Syahmi Mohamad Arif
HANOI, May 21 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will likely be without two key players in the 31st SEA Games men’s football bronze medal match against Indonesia at the My Dinh National Stadium here, tomorrow.
They are defender Harith Haiqal Adam Afkar and goalkeeper Muhammad Azri Ab Ghani who suffered injuries in the Malaysia-Vietnam semi-final match last Thursday.
National Under 23 (U-23) squad head coach Brad Maloney, said the semi-final clash which went into extra time had an unintended impact on the team including injuries to his players.
“It was a very physical match the other night and of course, we played for 120 minutes plus, so physically very demanding on the players and we did make four substitutions, with players getting cramps, knocks and bruises.
“As far as I am concerned certain players are available for selection, we will continue to reassess after today’s training. Maybe one or two are doubtful, Harith Haiqal is an important player, he came off injured, maybe some doubt there and also some doubt even with the goalkeeper who suffered a heavy knock,” he said at the pre-match press conference ahead of the SEA Games men’s football bronze medal match at the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) office here today..
Commenting further, Maloney said his players have recovered quite well from the semi-final defeat after undergoing an apt recovery process as well as being given attention to return to full fitness ahead of the clash against Indonesia.
“They are more than ready for tomorrow’s match, what we understand is that the encounter between these two nations means a lot to both, so my players are well prepared and ready for the match tomorrow,” he said.
Meanwhile, Maloney said winger Saddil Ramdani who plays for Super League side Sabah FC is one of the Indonesian players who needs to be given full attention as he can become the biggest threat on the field.
In the meantime, Indonesia's Head Coach Shin Tae Yong said the performance of the Malaysian team was unpredictable and that sometimes Maloney’s boys played very well but sometimes not.