By K. RAJAN - PETALING JAYA: Selangor custodian Norazlan Razali hopes to earn his first international cap when the national team take on Saudi Arabia in a friendly (8.45pm) at the Shah Alam Stadium today.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper faces stiff competition from regulars Khairul Fahmi Che Mat and Farizal Marlias. Norazlan, however, seems to be on form compared to Khairul and Farizal.
Norazlan missed earning his first cap when Malaysia took on Iraq in a friendly on Feb 1 and the AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Qatar on Feb 6. Malaysia lost both matches – 2-0 to Iraq and 3-0 to Qatar.
“I’m ready to serve the national team if I’m needed … I believe I’m in good form at the moment,” said Norazlan who stands at 1.84m.
“I’m aware that I have the least experience compared to Khairul and Farizal but I think we are at the same level in terms of ability.
“I take the training with the national team as a learning curve. I hope that my performance and current form can convince coach Datuk K. Rajagopal to pick me this time.”
Malaysia are preparing for the Asian Cup Group D qualifying match against Yemen at the Shah Alam Stadium on March 22. The Malaysians, with Khairul Fahmi in goal, lost 2-0 to Qatar in the opener in Doha on Feb 6.
Norazlan has been in outstanding form for Selangor and is fast emerging as the country’s best shot-stopper. He showed that in the 4-1 win over star-laden Johor Darul Takzim in a Super League match last week.
The Tangkak-born player has featured eight times for Selangor this season, keeping six clean sheets to help Selangor march into the FA Cup quarter-finals and occupy second spot in the league.
“I’m finally fulfilling my potential this season … but there’s still plenty of room for me to improve,” said Norazlan who joined Selangor from Kuala Lumpur in 2011.
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