PETALING JAYA, May 29 — Central midfielder Nasir Basharuddin can’t wait to don national colours after getting a taste of playing under Dollah Salleh on Wednesday.
The Perak skipper, who has yet to feature for Harimau Malaya, played in Malaysia XI’s 2-1 loss Tottenham Hotspur’s at Shah Alam Stadium, earning praise from Dollah.
“I was honoured the coach had some good words about my game. It motivates me to work harder and hopefully keep impressing him,” said Nasir.
“I got a good run and am fortunate we had this game.”
Nasir was part of a midfield quartet of Sarawak’s Joseph Kalang Tie, Felda United’s Indra Putra Mahayuddin and Maldivian Ashfaq Ali, who plays for Police in the M-League.
“It was a good feeling but I’m sure putting on a national jersey would be an even better feeling,” said Nasir, who featured for the National Under-23 at the Merdeka Tournament and SEA Games in 2013.
Nasir, Tie and defender Ronny Harun of Sarawak were among the standout against Spurs.
The line-up also included local players Khairul Fahmi Che Mat and Zubir Azmi and M-League imports Paulo Rangel, Guilherme de Paula, Thiago Juninho and Robert Cornwaithe.
Ahmad Syamim Yahya, Ahmad Hazwan Bakri, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha and Muslim Ahmad featured in the second half but failed to stamp their mark.
“It was a match to see some local players and it was beneficial. As for the team, work resumes on Friday (today). The training squad will be down to 23 prior to the two World Cup qualifying matches next month,” said Dollah.
A squad of 30 start training today. The team would be finalised after a friendly against Hong Kong at the Shah Alam Stadium on June 6.
Malaysia opens its World Cup qualifying campaign against Timor Leste on June 11 and Palestine on June 16. Both matches are at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The qualifiers also double as qualification for the 2019 Asian Cup in UAE.