CHANGES: Fresh players to be unleashed against Vietnam
MORE changes are in store as Malaysia prepare to face Vietnam today in a crucial AFC Under-22 Championship Group G qualifier at the Aung San Stadium in Yangon today.
Coach Ong Kim Swee has been rotating his players during the first three games against South Korea, Philippines and Taiwan so as to keep his players fresh for the final two matches against Vietnam and Myanmar on Tuesday, which will decide Malaysia's fate in the tournament.
The game against Vietnam, however, has taken on added significance after Myanmar and South Korea drew 0-0 on Thursday to jointly lead the group with seven points, one ahead of Malaysia.
"I've been asked quite often why do I keep rotating the players but I need to keep the boys fresh. I need the best players for the last two games," said Kim Swee when contacted in Yangon.
True to his word, Kim Swee started the 4-2 win over Taiwan on Thursday with D. Saarvindran, Nazirul Naim Che Hashim and Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim in place of Ashri Chuchu, Ariff Farhan Isa and A. Thamil Arasu from the side which defeated Philippines 7-0 on Monday.
Against Vietnam, Kim Swee's options have been increased by the availability of winger Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor after missing the first three games through suspension.
There is also healthy competition for places in the forward line with Rozaimi Abdul Rahman, having scored six goals, almost certain to start with Syahrul, Thamil and Ahmad Hazwan Bakri, who struck the Taiwan bar with a free-kick, vying to partner him.
Malaysia's only injury concern is defender Amer Saidin while the only player on a yellow card is centre-back Shahrul Saad.