Monday, July 08, 2013

All systems go

National coach: Ong Kim Swee
National coach: Ong Kim Swee

PETALING JAYA: National Under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee’s appeal to register two more players for the World University Games (Univer­siade) and was given the thumbs-up by the organisers.

Kim Swee has called up midfielder Junior Eldstal (Sarawak) and defender Mohd Nazri Ahmad (Johor Darul Takzim) to beef up the team in the on-going tournament.

The team registered 17 players for the tournament in Kazan, Russia and they got their campaign off to a winning start with a surprise 2-0 win over Italy on Saturday.

However, it was a costly victory as goalkeeper Mohd Izham Tarmizi Roslan and striker Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim were red-carded and will miss the next Group C match against Great Britain today.

“The two players are expected to join us on Wednesday and they should be available for our match on Friday,” said Kim Swee from Kazan.

Malaysia lead the group after the win over Italy. Great Britain, the 2011 runners-up, have yet to play while Algeria, the other team in the group, pulled out of the competition.

“We will have to make do with the players we have. We just have to soldier on. It will be a tough match as Great Britain will be fresher,” said former international Kim Swee.

“This match will be a good test for the players’ mental strength and I hope they will pass with flying colours.

“The good thing is we are not under pressure as we have won our opening game. The pressure is on Italy who must beat Great Britain in their final group match,”

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