Harimau Malaya to compete in King's Cup after 27 years

KUALA LUMPUR: Harimau Malaya will play rivals Thailand on their return to the King's Cup after 27 years on Sept 22 at Chiang Mai Stadium in preparation for next year's Asian Cup.

World No 148 Malaysia defeated 111st-ranked Thailand 1-0 in their last meeting at last year's pre-World Cup in Dubai.

Malaysia last made their appearance in the 1995 edition, where they were represented by an Under-23 team, who finished bottom of the table after losing to Thailand, South Korea and Japan.

Harimau Malaya last won the King's Cup in 1978 when they defeated Singapore in the final in Bangkok.

Trinidad & Tobago will take on Tajikistan in the other knockout match in this year's tournament. The final is on Sept 25.

National coach Kim Pan Gon has yet to announce his team for the tournament.

Former Kedah coach Azraai Khor said the invitation to play in the King's Cup after so many years shows other teams are beginning to respect Harimau Malaya.

"It is a positive indicator. However, Thailand will be out for revenge, and I believe they will be strong at home.

"If the rumour is true, Pan Gon will be testing young players in the tournament. It is still a good opportunity as the Korean will have more options for the Asian Cup," said Azraai.

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