PETALING JAYA: National Under-21 skipper Mohd Irfan Fazail wants his men to defy the odds and get their VFF Newspaper Cup campaign off to a winning start when they face Laos in Gia Lai, Vietnam, tonight.
Irfan is aware of the tough task awaiting them as coach Ong Kim Swee’s squad have been drawn in a tough Group B with the Laos Under-21 side and Sydney FC.
Group A comprises the Under-21 sides from Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand.
Malaysia will play Sydney FC on Wednesday and the top two teams in each group will qualify for the semi-finals on Friday. The final will be on Oct 21. The talismanic Irfan will have to sit out tonight’s match due to a knee injury sustained against Balestier Khalsa in the Singapore League two weeks ago.
The Harimau Muda A team will also be without regular goalkeeper Izham Tarmizi Roslan; defenders Zubir Azmi and Fadhli Shas; winger Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor; and midfielder Gary Steven Robbat – who are all with the national senior squad for an international friendly against Hong Kong on Oct 16.
Leftback Fandi Othman and nippy winger Wan Zaharulnizam Wan Zakaria, however, are on the crock list.
Irfan said that coach Kim Swee had set them a top-four target in the Under-21 tournament.
Mohd Farhan Abu Bakar, Farhan Muhd Ariff, D. Saarvindran, Irfan Fazail, A. Thamil Arasu, Shahrul Mohd Saad, Nazirul Naim Che Hashim, Fandi Othman, Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim, Mohd Raphi Azizan Mariappen, Syazwan Tajudin, Ahmad Hazwan Bakri, Izham Tarmizi, Firdaus Muhamad, Mohd Nashriq Yahya, Mohd Azeif Nasrulhaq Badrul Hisham, Adam Nor Azlin, Syazuan Hazani, Muhd Nurridzuan Abu Hassan, D. Kenny Palraj.
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