SYAFIQ Ahmad, the country’s leading scorer with five goals this year, is eager to silence Vietnam in today’s pre-World Cup Group G match in Hanoi. -- NSTP/MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN

SYAFIQ Ahmad, the country’s leading scorer with five goals this year, is eager to silence Vietnam in today’s pre-World Cup Group G match in Hanoi.

The midfielder-cum-forward is feeling confident after scoring a hat-trick in last weekend’s 6-0 win over Sri Lanka in a friendly and is hoping to start against the Golden Dragons.

He did not start in Harimau Malaya’s previous pre-World Cup games against Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.

“I believe we can do something. We are here not to lose again. The mission is to play for a win,” said Syafiq during the pre-match conference in Hanoi yesterday.

“We know they are a strong team. We need to help and support each other on and off the pitch during the match.

“What I’ve done in the last few matches have given me confidence. However, I am not a perfect player yet. I still have a lot of things to improve on.”

Syafiq will likely be given an attacking role, supporting striker Norshahrul Idlan Talaha today. It will offer him an opportunity to create chances and score goals.

The 24-year-old has a knack
of getting in good positions and Malaysia will need his instincts
to kick in against a formidable Vietnam.

But it will not be all plain sailing for Syafiq against what is a resolute Vietnam defence that managed to shut out Thailand in their group opener last month.

With the towering figures of Que Ngoc Hai, Do Duy Manh and Bui Tien Dung manning the
defence for the home side, Malaysia will not find it easy.

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