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All you need to know ahead of Malaysia v Kyrgyz Republic – football news


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


Fresh from their 4-1 friendly win over Sri Lanka on Friday, Malaysia (FIFA ranking 171) will now head into their next friendly match, this time at home against a more formidable opponent.

On Tuesday, they will face Kyrgyz Republic (FIFA ranking 91), who are set to make an appearance in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, the first time in the two team’s history that they will be playing each other at the senior level.

The encounter is part of the two sides’ preparations; with the hosts set to take part in the 2018 AFF Championship later this year, while the visitors are fine-tuning their squad ahead of the continental tournament.

Where and when will the match be played

Hang Jebat Stadium in Melaka. Match to kick off at 2045 (Malaysian time)

Both teams’ forms coming into the match

The five most recent matches of Tan Cheng Hoe’s charges have all been friendly encounters, almost all against similar or lower-ranked teams, and they won four of them. Their only match against a higher-ranked side, away to Chinese Taipei in September, ended in a 2-0 defeat.

Aleksandr Krestinin’s side meanwhile have not been playing in as many friendly matches, and two of their five most recent matches were Asian Cup qualification encounters. They won both qualifiers, against Myanmar and India, while the three friendlies ended in one win, one draw and one defeat.

Interestingly, since 2017 the White Falcons have played four times against Southeast Asian sides; and never lost in a single encounter. They were held to a 2-2 away draw against Myanmar in October last year, but later beat Indonesia, Brunei and Myanmar.

Kyrgyzstan

 Kyrgyz Republic winning the Aceh World Solidarity Tsunami Cup in 2017. Photo by Goal Indonesia/Adit

Call-ups

Since he took over as head coach, Tan’s Malaysia have recorded four wins, one draw and two defeats, but his attacking and midfield options are likely to be limited on Tuesday, due to recent injuries and other concerns. Midfielders Akram Mahinan, Rawilson Batuil and Nor Hakim Hassan had been injured and left out of the Sri Lanka encounter, while the sole foreign-based squad member, Shahrel Fikri Fauzi was revealed to have been seriously injured after the match.

Malaysia U-19’s Akhyar Rashid and Nik Akif Nik Mat are in Tan’s squad, but he may be reluctant to hand them key roles in the match, out of fear of risking the junior side’s chances in the 2018 AFC U-19 Championship, which kicks off in Indonesia later this week.

Thankfully, debutant forward Mohamadou Sumareh hit the ground running against Sri Lanka with his brace, while his club teammate Norshahrul Idlan Talaha found his first international goal in four years, and the forward may trouble the visitors’ defence.

Mohamadou Sumareh, Pahang, Malaysia

Sumareh. Photo from Malaysian FA

One got the sense that the defenders fielded on Friday were not the best combination, considering that Shahrul Saad was not even fielded, and this Tuesday Tan may field the best available combination that he has.

Krestinin has held his post since 2014 and knows his pool of players very well. His success of taking the Central Asian side to their first ever Asian Cup has further cemented his reputation in the country.

He should be set to field his best side, judging by the call-up list, save for a few changes. His squad for Tuesday feature mostly players from Kyrgyz champions FC Dordoi, where he is also head coach.

Kyrgyz Republic training in Malaysia ahead of the Tuesday friendly

Kyrgyzstani-German midfielder Edgar Bernhardt should captain the team on Tuesday, although another player with a similar heritage; star forward Vitalij Lux has not joined the squad due to an injury.

The home fans would be glad to also know that two of their regular international goal scorers this year; Anton Zemlianukhin and Mirlan Murzaev have not been called up for this encounter. However, forward Bekzhan Sagynbaev has scored two international goals this year, and should be guarded closely by Tan’s defenders.

Kyrgyz Republic also feature one naturalised player on their squad; 32-year old centre back Daniel Tagoe.

More interestingly, they have one player; Bakhtiyar Duishobekov who play in the Malaysia Super League, for Kelantan, and his knowledge on Malaysian players will most likely be used to brief their coaching staff.

19-year old centre back Aizar Akmatov meanwhile has played against Malaysia U-23 in the recent Asian Games, a match won by the Malaysians. 

After the match

Malaysia will play in their last pre-AFF Championship friendly match, at home to Maldives on November 3, while Kyrgyz Republic have lined up an away friendly encounter against Japan on November 20.

Our prediction

The match will likely end in a draw, or a win to the visitors, who sit 80 places above the hosts in the FIFA rankings. Tan is still tinkering with his best starting eleven and beset by injuries, while Kyrgyz Republic are still buoyed by their success at the continental level, and not to mention the presence of foreign player-turned-spy Bakhtiyar.

 

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2019 AFC Asian Cup Rival Watch – UAE hold Honduras, Thailand beat Hong Kong – football news

In the build-up to the AFC Asian Cup 2019 that will be held in UAE in January, India’s Group A rivals – UAE, Bahrain and Thailand – have been in action in the ongoing international break. 

UAE came from behind to draw 1-1 against Honduras in a friendly played in Barcelona. Romell Quioto (18′) had given Honduras the lead while Al Hilal star Abdul Rahman (32′) scored the equaliser in the same half. At half-time, both teams were locked 1-1.

Alberto Zaccheroni had included forward Ismail Matar in his first XI for the clash after the veteran striker was out of national team action for around a year. The other players up front consisted of the likes of Ali Mabkhout and Ahmad Khalil as the Italian fielded a 4-3-3 for the first time. Moreover, Honduras are ranked 15 places higher than UAE who were also missing Al Jazira striker Ali Mabkhout and Shabab Al Ahli forward Dubai Club’s Ahmed Khalil due to minor injury concerns. 

UAE are set to meet Venezuela next as part of their preparations at their Spanish camp that will conclude on October 16. The Asian Cup hosts have already held camps in Austria and Spain in August and September respectively earlier while they will have two more camps scheduled in November and December back home as well.

The team’s recent results involve a 3-0 win over Laos that eased the pressure on Zaccheroni after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Trinidad and Tobago in Girona, Spain.

Elsewhere, at the Mongkok Stadium in Hong Kong, Thailand picked up a 1-0 victory over Hong Kong with Thai-German striker Philip Roller scoring the only goal of the match in the second minute. 

Milovan Rajevac’s side will be facing Trinidad and Tobago in Siphanburi on Sunday next. 

“The game against Hong Kong is a good test for us. They have tall players and used high ball against us all the time. We learned a lot from the game while several players have been sent to gain experience for the first time,” said the coach. 

Bahrain, India’s other group rival, were defeated 1-0 by Syria at home on Thursday in a friendly at Riffa. Forward Omar Souma scored the winning goal for the visitors in the 30th minute. Despite Bahrain striving for an equaliser, the Syrians were able to hold them off without much concern. 

The Bahrainis next take on Palestine on Tuesday next week.

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Thomas

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Sasan

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Reza

No commitment and no credit card binding

The subscription is a new way which relying on a simple activation code, no commitment and no credit card binding. Live streaming is fast and clear.

Kcdtran

Quality is Amazing

Just subscribed and tried, I gotta say the streaming quality is amazing! Very clear and no delay at all. I watched Man United match last Sunday, fatanstic video quality and I really enjoyed with my friend, great work and keep it up!

David

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Cialis

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AFC Asian Cup 2019: Not scheduling any friendly matches in September a baffling move for India – football news

Even as Stephen Constantine and his India U23s were preparing for their SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Cup semi-final with Pakistan, two of their rivals in Group A of the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup were busy playing international friendly matches.

UAE were putting three past Laos at Palamos, Spain while Bahrain were being held to a goalless draw against China at Riffa. Both teams were playing their second friendly in the September international window. UAE had previously gone down 0-2 to Trinidad and Tobago while Bahrain had played out a 1-1 draw against the Philippines.

Thailand and India are the only two teams from Group A of the Asian Cup who will not be in action in the September window. Thailand, though, will be in action at the year-end AFF (ASEAN Football Federation Cup) where they will lock horns with the likes of Philippines and Indonesia among other teams.

Seeing India’s rivals sharpen their tools for the continental showdown in the best possible fashion begs the question as to why the Blue Tigers are not playing any international friendly matches in the September window.

While India’s direct rivals and other Asian Cup participants have been squaring up against quality oppositions, the Blue Tigers’ U23 team are only participating in the SAFF Championship. 

While a large majority of the 24 Asian Cup participants have been in action in recent times, even teams who have failed to qualify such as Singapore, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia have been racking up the international friendly matches.

A lack of available quality opponents has been cited as an excuse for India not playing friendly matches but seeing the teams on display in the September window proves that it is a lame one.

Granted that India had the SAFF Cup commitments to fulfill but it was the U23 team for the tournament anyway. Logistically, it is very much possible for India to field its U23s in the Bangladesh tournament while its senior team takes on other opposition in friendly matches. And there are no domestic commitment for the players to fulfill currently as well.

While the U23s playing in the SAFF Cup serves as an opportunity for some of them to catch the eye of the coach, there is no excuse for the senior team giving up the chance to play crucial games. At the present, the senior team needs to be taking every opportunity available to them to prepare for a competition which they have qualified for after a gap of eight years.

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As such, with the September window now lost, the Indian team has been robbed of some crucial match practice against oppositions whose style of play could prepare them better for the Asian Cup.

Only the powers to be know the reasoning behind this approach but one hopes that the lack of friendly matches does not come back to bite India hard in the UAE. India have broken into the top-100 in FIFA rankings but are still not utilising all the international breaks available, which is a shame. 

 

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