KUALA LUMPUR, April — The national Under-23 (U-23) football squad plans to do their best against Uzbekistan in their first match of the 2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup in Qatar tomorrow, despite being the underdogs.

Head coach Juan Torres Garrido said Uzbekistan may be known as a strong and favourite team but his players are more than ready to meet any challenge.

“We know that facing this opponent is challenging but we are in our very best spirits after going through a long period of training.

“So we are happy to be here representing Malaysia and we are looking forward to improve our results,” he said at a virtual pre-match press conference today.


The Harimau Muda squad have been drawn in Group D, and will face Uzbekistan tomorrow, and then Vietnam on April 20, and finally Kuwait on April 23, after qualifying for the tournament for the third time, having played in 2018 and 2022.

The national squad’s best achievement in this tournament was reaching the quarterfinals in 2018 under Datuk Ong Kim Swee. — Bernama