JAKARTA (5 Nov 2011) – Malaysia, defending SEA Games football champions, will have to battle furiously every inch of the way, both on and off the field, in their march towards trying to retain the prestigious gold medal at the region’s multi-sports competition. Malaysia left for Jakarta yesterday armed with the knowledge that every team will be gunning for their scalps.
“When others play us, they tend to play their very best, sometime even better,” said Malaysian chief coach Ong Kim Swee after a training session. “We have to deliver not 100% but 200% on the pitch in order to try and win.”
Malaysia, who sensationally claimed the gold medal two years ago in Laos, will open their title-defence against Singapore tomorrow at the Stadion Utama Gelora Bung Karno. Kim Swee commented that he felt a win over Singapore would pave the way for the team to advance to the semi-finals earlier.
Kim Swee must also realise that all the teams in Group A, especially hosts Indonesia will be closely watching the performance of the Malaysians. After the opening match, Indonesia and Thailand will know the strengths and weaknesses of the Malaysians and try and exploit them in their matches.
After Singapore, Malaysia will take on Thailand, the traditional giants of the SEA Games, in their second game next Wednesday. Malaysia will have a brief break before facing Cambodia at 1600hrs (local time) on 13 Nov 2011.
All teams will have a three-day break, an opportunity for players to recover and prepare for the crucial final group matches. Malaysia will play their first game under floodlights when they come up against Indonesia in their last group encounter on 17 Nov 2011.
The earlier tie will see Thailand taking on Singapore. On paper, the last group matches are likely to decide the outcome of the group.
SEA GAMES 2011 RESULTS and FIXTURES
|07.11.2011||SINGAPORE||vs||MALAYSIA||A||1600 hrs||GELORA BUNG KARNO|
|09.11.2011||MALAYSIA||vs||THAILAND||A||1600 hrs||GELORA BUNG KARNO|
|11.11.2011||SINGAPORE||vs||INDONESIA||A||1400 hrs||GELORA BUNG KARNO|
|13.11.2011||MALAYSIA||vs||CAMBODIA||A||1600 hrs||GELORA BUNG KARNO|