Can Malaysia stop top scorers Myanmar?

Soe : No expectations. Pictures: Simon Chiew

Saturday, March 10, 2007

THOUGH Myanmar are the surprise team of the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy for Association of Southeast Asian Youth Football Championship, scoring 19 goals in three games and easily booking a semi-final date with Malaysia tonight, manager Soe Myint Lwin won't be too disappointed if they don't make it to the finals on Monday.

"We had a very short training period, only a week, so I am not expecting a lot from my players except that they play 100 per cent," said Soe.

Unsure of the tactics the Malaysians will employ at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium tonight, Soe said that his team will adjust their game to suit their opponent's style of play.

"We don't have any set formation for every match and we place very little constraint on our players in terms of tactics," added the 61-year-old technical director of Myanmar Football Federation.

Stating that the Malaysians to watch out for are midfielder Ahmad Aminuddin Shaharuddin and left back Hariri Mohd Safii, Soe feels that Ahmad's pace makes him a threat in attack and his team shouldn't give Hariri too much space because he has powerful shots.

The Malaysians acknowledged they are lucky just to be playing in the semis, with head coach K Rajagobal repeatedly stating that he is only using the competition to prepare his players for the qualifiers of the Under-19 Asian Football Conference Youth Championship in October.

"It'll be tough for us tonight because our players are inexperienced, so I'm not going to overload their brain with tactics because they're too young for that," said Rajagobal.

"Myanmar are a very pacy team and there is nothing we can do to counter that other than being disciplined when we lose the ball and not give them too much room," added the head coach.The Brunei Times


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