KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — The Harimau Malaya should not focus on individual threats, but rather the whole team in their opening Group B match against Cambodia at the 2020 Asean Football Federation (AFF) Cup Championship in Singapore, tomorrow, says head coach Tan Cheng Hoe.
He said in looking for the first three points in their campaign, the squad could not take the risk by simply marking prolific Cambodian striker Chan Vathanaka.
The 53-year-old coach said the most important thing to consider is the opponents’ ability to launch fast-paced attacks as a team.
“We can’t focus too much on one player alone, especially Chan (Vathanaka). We know that he has played in the Malaysia League before, but we also have to look at their younger players and their counterattack with the fast running.
“Again, we have to focus on our game for tomorrow, I feel like the most important is our players have to be very focused in the first game, and I’m sure the motivation and spirit are there,” he said during the team’s press conference held virtually today.
Vathanaka, who has plied his trade in the Malaysia League with Pahang and PKNS FC, had scored two goals against Malaysia in the 2016 AFF Cup group fixture, which ended with a 3-2 win for the national squad.
Meanwhile, Cheng Hoe said the main goal of the national squad against Cambodia was to get a positive outcome.
Therefore, he hoped that the national team could be fully focused to perform well despite having a short and challenging preparation phase following the Malaysia Cup competition which just ended.
The fixture between Cambodia and 2018-edition runners-up Malaysia is set to take place at the Bishan Stadium at 5.30 pm.
After their match against Cambodia, the Harimau Malaya will meet Laos on December 9, before facing Vietnam (December 12) and Indonesia (December 19). — Bernama