PETALING JAYA: National football coach Datuk K. Rajagopal is happy that his reserves are just as strong as his starting 11.
“We now have a balanced squad with our bench and the starting 11 being equally strong.
“This is exactly what I envisioned when we began our preparations for the AFF Suzuki Cup later this year,” he said after putting his men through their paces in preparation for tomorrow’s friendly against the Philippines at the Shah Alam Stadium. “I’m still testing out the combinations and trying to get the right blend.
“We still have one more of training before finalising the squad.
“I’m happy with the players’ commitment in training and looking forward to a good showing against the Philippines.”
Malaysia and the Philippines drew 1-1 when they last met at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Feb 29, with Dennis Wolf and Ahmad Shakir Ali getting the goals. Malaysia will be without defender Mohd Asraruddin Putra Omar Putra and midfielder Khyril Muhymeen, who have been dropped after picking up injuries on the first day of training. F
lanker Ashaari Shamsuddin will also sit out the match after picking up a knock on Wednesday.
The Philippines arrived yesterday in buoyant mood following their third placing in the AFC Challenge Cup in March.
However, they are relatively weakened by the absence of skipper Aly Borromeo, first choice goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and the Younghusband brothers, Phil and James.
Etheridge, Fulham’s third choice goalkeeper, is serving a one-match ban after being sent off in his team’s 4-3 win over Palestine in the Challenge Cup’s third placing play-off.
- Man United strikeforce at full strength for Stoke tie
- Ten euros to watch Spain’s reserves training
- Under-23 reserves easily beat Red Giants
- Egypt’s Hassan equals record with 178th appearance
- Ibra shows strength as Sweden beat Iceland