JAKARTA (21 Nov 2011) – Malaysia, the defending champions, are paying the price for a bruising semi-final victory over Myanmar two days ago. Four first-choice players are on the crock list with another struggling to get fit. Due to the time between the semi-finals and final, players are unable to recover from their injuries and Malaysia will likely field a weakened team for the final today.
Strikers Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim and Izzaq Faris Ramlan, who both have scored goals here and are key to the team’s strikerforce are out with ankle and knee injuries. Speedy flankers Wan Zaharulnizam Wan Zakaria and Fandi Othman, have played influential roles in the team’s earlier victories but both are nursing hamstring injuries.
Midfielder Mohd Irfan Fazail has a knee injury and may also not make the starting line-up. As of yesterday evening, coach Ong Kim Swee had ruled them out of the final. But even if they do play this evening, they will certainly not be at their best.
It’s a bitter blow for the Malaysians who are aiming to defend the title. With these injuries, the odds have become a whole lot tougher for the Malaysians who will be facing the hosts along with their hostile 100,000 plus fans.
“We still have three outfield players to choose from and I can rotate them and place them in various positions,” said Kim Swee said. The trio are Thamil Arasu, Yong Kuong Yong and Ahmad Fakri Saarani, who scored the winning goal against Myanmar.
Kim Swee said that the target of defending the gold remained and he would have to develop a strategy to put the brakes on the dangerous Papuan connection – Oktovianus Maniani, Titus Bonai and Patrich Wanggai.
Considering the number of key injuries, Kim Swee will have a massive headache naming his team for today’s final.
SEA GAMES 2011 SEMI-FINALS FIXTURES
|MALAYSIA 1||vs||MYANMAR 0||1600 hrs||
GELORA BUNG KARNO
|VIETNAM 0||vs||INDONESIA 2||1930 hrs|
GELORA BUNG KARNO