By ERIC SAMUEL - BRISBANE: It was supposed to be Harimau Muda A striker Rozaimi Abdul Rahman and midfielder Mohd Irfan Fazail’s big day. A-League champions Brisbane Roar FC, however, failed to show up thus depriving the duo the chance to showcase their talent and, possibly, earn playing contracts in Australia.
Instead, Ong Kim Swee’s side ended up playing with an Under-19 side from the Queensland Academy of Sport at the Carrara Sports Complex. It was a stroll for Malaysia as they trooped off 7-0 winners. Rozaimi (22nd and 42nd minutes), Izzaq Faris Ramlan (84th and 88th), Ferris Daniel (39th), S. Sivanesan (52nd), A. Thamil Arasu (75th) were the scorers.
It was an anti-climax to the team’s four-match playing tour of Brisbane. They had earlier beaten APL (A Premier League) sides Gold Coast Sharks 5-1 and Brisbane Lions 2-1 but lost 2-1 to Brisbane Olympics.
Kim Swee said it was really unfortunate they did not get to play Brisbane Roar.
“We were caught by surprise. We only came to know of the change just before kick-off,” said a disappointed Kim Swee.
Gary Phillips, the technical director of Queensland Football who arranged the Malaysians’ playing tour, apologised for the inconvenience caused.
“Brisbane Roar had informed me last week of their tight schedule and difficulty in hosting the match. The reason was they had many players down with injuries and needed time for their players to recuperate ahead of their AFC Champions League playoffs in Bangkok next week.
“They then suggested to field a mixed team of reserve players. Unfortunately, they could not put up a side. We will write an apology to the FA of Malaysia (FAM),” said Phillips, a former Sabah coach.
Kim Swee, however, said Rozaimi and Irfan could still earn playing opportunities in Australia.
“Former Australian international-cum-talent scout Brad Maloney was at the game today to look at the two players.
“We will also provide him with the videos of the two players,” added Kim Swee.
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