- By K. RAJAN -
PETALING JAYA: In-form Pahang striker Mohd Fauzi Rozlan has been rewarded with a berth in coach Datuk K. Rajagopal’s national side for the Asian Cup qualifying match against Qatar in Doha on Feb 6.
The 24-year-old Fauzi has been a revelation in the Super League, scoring three goals in three matches.
It is Fauzi’s first call-up to the national team. Rajagopal also called up Kelantan’s Mohd Norfarhan Muhammad to join his 26-player squad.
Fauzi said he was surprised with the call-up.
“I didn’t expect to get a call-up since I’ve never played for the country at junior or senior level. It has always been my dream to don national colours since my President’s Cup days with Pahang,” said Fauzi.
“Now I aim to make an impact in training and make the final squad. To be honest, I think there’s plenty of room for me to improve,” added Fauzi.
There were no places for five players who were in the team for the AFF Suzuki Cup last month.
Strikers Ahmad Fakri Saarani, Ahmad Hazwan Bakri, defender Azmi Muslim were dropped while Zubir Azmi and Baddrol Bakhtiar were relegated to the reserve list.
The other notable omission is skipper Safiq Rahim, who has been left out due to a suspension after picking up a red card in the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Singapore in 2011.
The good news for Rajagopal is that Selangor duo Mohd Asraruddin Putra Omar and K. Gurusamy are making a return to the team after missing the AFF Suzuki Cup through injuries.
The national team will have three days of centralised training in Wisma FAM from Jan 26-28 before leaving to Dubai for a friendly against Iraq on Jan 31.
Meanwhile, Qatar have fired their Brazilian coach Paulo Autuori after the team crashed out of the Gulf Cup without winning a match.
Fahad Thani, Autuori’s assistant, is now in charge on a permanent basis.
The training squad
The training squad: Mohd Khyril Muhymeen Zambri (Kedah), Mohd Farizal Marlias, Yong Kuong Yong (Perak), Mahalli Jasuli, Norazlan Razali, Mohd Bunyamin Umar, Asraruddin Putra Omar, K. Gurusamy, S. Kunalan (Selangor), Mohamad Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Mohd Safee Mohd Sali (Johor DT), Azamuddin Mohd Akil, Muhammad Fauzi Rozlan (Pahang), Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, Nik Mohd Shahrul Azim Abdul Halim, Mohd Shakir Shaari, Mohd Norfarhan Muhammad, Mohd Faizal Muhamad (Kelantan), Mohd Ashari Samsudin (Terengganu), Amiridzwan Taj Tajudin, K. Reuben (Armed Forces), Amar Rohidan (Felda United), Mohd Fadhli Mohd Shas, Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor, Gary Robbat (Harimau Muda).
Reserve list: Baddrol Bakhtiar, Mohd Sharbinee Allawee Ramli, Muhammad Zubir Mohd Azmi, Affize Faisal Mamat, Hairuddin Omar, Shahrizal Saad, Mohd Izham Tarmizi Roslan.
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