KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — The national football team will take on world number 93 Jordan and world number 84 Uzbekistan in two Tier-1 International friendlies next month.
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) today announced that coach Tan Cheng Hoe’s men would face Jordan at the King Abdullah II Stadium in Amman, Jordan on October 6 at 11pm Malaysian time.
World number 154 Malaysia will then meet Uzbekistan at the Amman International Stadium on October 9 at the same time.
Cheng Hoe intends to use the two friendlies to test his players and make early preparation ahead of forming the strongest squad for the 2020 AFF Cup to be held from December 5, 2021 to January 1, 2022 and the final qualifying round of the 2023 Asian Cup next February.
For the AFF Cup, which has been postponed for a year due to Covid-19, the Harimau Malaya have been drawn in Group B with defending champions Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.
Meanwhile, Cheng Hoe, who announced the list of 24 players for the centralised training camp next month, has only retained 12 players from the squad that played in the second qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup against the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Vietnam and Thailand in Dubai, UAE in June.
The 12 are skipper Aidil Zafuan Abd Radzak, goalkeeper Khairulazhan Khalid, Rizal Ghazali, Dominic Tan, Dion Cools, Irfan Zakaria, Syahmi Safari, Nazmi Faiz Mansor, Akhyar Rashid, Syafiq Ahmad, Luqman Hakim Shamsudin and Guilherme de Paula.
Cheng Hoe has also called up six new faces, comprising goalkeeper Kalamullah Al-Hafiz Mat Rowi (PJ City FC); Quentin Cheng, Al Hafiz Harun (Penang FC); Sharul Nazeem Zulpakar, Mukhairi Ajmal Mahadi (Selangor FC); and Hakimi Abdullah (Terengganu FC).
Melaka United FC goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat; Kedah Darul Aman FC skipper Baddrol Bakhtiar; Terengganu FC’s Arif Fadzilah Abu Bakar dan Faisal Halim; as well as Kuala Lumpur City FC’s Akram Mahinan and Kenny Pallraj are among those recalled to join the Harimau Malaya squad.
According to the FAM statement, all 24 players are required to report for duty in Kuala Lumpur on October 1 before leaving for Amman the following day for the two friendlies. They are expected to return home on October 10. — Bernama