PETALING JAYA, Dec 5 – National team coach Tan Cheng Hoe is in a buoyant mood ahead of the second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final against Thailand at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok tonight.
Cheng Hoe said his men can spring an upset if they can maintain the momentum from the first leg and they need to make their chances count.
The 50-year-old coach added that he will have a late fitness test ahead of the match as a few of his players picked up injuries in the first leg.
“The players are in good mood. I believe if we continue to play the way we have, we can upset Thailand in this away game,” said the former international in the pre-match press conference at the Rajamangala Stadium yesterday.
“I want the players to be strong mentally and physically to play here. We need to be always alert on their attacking force throughout the 90 minutes to stop them from scoring.”
The Harimau Malaya squandered a handful of chances during their goalless draw by the War Elephants at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last Saturday.
The free-scoring Thais have been rampant in the AFF Suzuki Cup, scoring 15 goals in the group stage including a whopping 14 goals at home before being stopped by Malaysia’s ultra attacking play in front of the 80,000 capacity crowd last week.
The pressure is now on the Thais in the return leg in front of their fans with Malaysia just needing to get a scoring draw to advance to the final.
Meanwhile, Thai coach Milovan Rajevac said that his men understand their task in hand and have moved away from the disappointment of the first leg.
“Everybody is aware of the challenges and the task, but they are motivated to get the win. Malaysia had fantastic support in the first match, but we also will have our home support tomorrow,” said the Serbian coach.
“We are ready for every situation, no matter what happens our target is to win the match. We will try to score goals and overcome our opponent.”