Pak-Malaysia qualifier tomorrow: Teams meet press at PFF House

My boys need to be alert right from kick off: Ong

Lahore, 8 March: Malaysia U21 coach coach Ong Kim Swee has warned his team against taking their places in the Olympic squad for granted after clear misses led to team in first leg and recent matches used by Malaysia as preparation for the Olympic qualifiers. “Opportunities are few in nowadays football and it do happen in first leg when we missed nearly eight chances against Pakistani debutant goal keeper Muhammad Omar. The boys need to be alert from start to the end at Lahore. We have a few experienced players in the team and I need them to set a good example and guide the other players,” added Kim Swee of his expectations of national players in his squad who will play Pakistan in second leg on Wednesday, 9 March at Lahore’s Punjab Stadium. Kim was speaking to Media at Press Briefing at FIFA Football House.

Ong said that “Playing against Pakistan is quite special, it brings back memories of the Merdeka Cup days where Pakistan faced Malaysia twice and because our senior team has done well recently, there is definitely pressure on us to do well,” he said. Kuala Lumpur. B. Sathianathan’s National team beat Pakistan 4-1 at Bukit Jalil in 2008 and Swee’s U21 team got rid of Pakistan U21 2-0 few days back at Selangor.

Both Ong and Pakistani coach Tariq Lutfi admitted that “The result will be important but we must look at player development, of course. Tariq hopes Pakistani youngsters strive to develop into international-calibre players, particularly after two matches against Palestine where they conceded only two goals in three hours. “It’s normal for the public to expect a lot from this game but it is not fair to judge these young players because they need time to develop. If you expect a lot, it will put a lot of pressure on them,” said Tariq “You can’t have results without giving time for preparation and development.”

Pakistan U21 is still in learning stage and the way they played against Palestine was praised worthy. Lutfi believes his boys have the experience and pedigree to develop into fine players in years to come if they stuck to their potential. While talking about Malaysians, he said that Malaysian coach Ong Kim Swee has six players from the AFF Suzuki Cup-winning side and also trainees who have had short stints with the national senior squad over the past year. Our opposition have also become more confident after their stint in Slovakia, where they were exposed to high quality matches, playing 14 competitive matches in the Slovakian Division One – a rung lower than the Slovakian Super League.

The football atmosphere in the two countries cannot be more different in second leg too as was the case with Shah Alam stadia’s first leg, as the two teams – Pakistan, Malaysia – prepare for their Lahore Olympic qualifiers. Malaysia are on a high after being crowned Asean champions for the first time last month, while Pakistan continue to search for answers after three penalty kick misses in as many events and 0-2 reverse at Selangor. Malaysia have been together for the best part of four years and they have had time to build a team of players able to take the international stage.

Before Selangor’s first leg, Pakistan U21 team visited Thailand. It turned out to be second ever visit of Thailand for Tariq Lutfi (PIA), after Coca Cola Cup. 1992 age-group event, as Pakistani coach who earned one-year coaching assignment for National Team from Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat on 15 January 2011. “The deal is for full 2011 but hopefully it will lead to a longer term agreement,” said Tariq who is on verge of retirement from PIA, already appeared in his last Pakistan Premier Football League. He will also coached Pakistan in coming 4-test Series against Palestine.

The coaches of U21 football teams Pakistan and Malaysia – Tariq Lutfi, Ong Kim Swee – have announced their squads for Wednesday, 9 March clash in London Olympics Football Qualifier at Punjab Stadium, Lahore (8 PM)

Following are two teams:
Pakistan U21 Team

Goal keepers: Amir Gul (NBP), Muhammad Omar (KESC)

Defenders: Manzoor Ahmed (WAPDA), Alamgir Khan (Police), Ahsan Ullah (PEL), Obaid Majeed (KPT)

Midfielders: Faisal Iqbal (NBP), Syed Arif Hussain (WAPDA), Muhammad Tauseef (WAPDA), Muhammad Adil (KRL), Mahmood Khan (KRL),

Strikers: Saddam Hussain (PIA), Fahad Ullah Khan (PTV), Jadeed Khan Pathan (WAPDA) CAP, Rizwan Asif (KRL) VC, Kalim Ullah ( KRL)

Coach : Tariq Lutfi

Malaysia U21 Team:

Goal Keepers (2) : Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (Kelantan) CAP, Muhammad Zamir Selamat (Harimau Muda A)

Defenders (6): Mohamad Muslim Ahmad CAP, Mohd Affize Faisal Mamat, Mohd Faizal Muhamad, Mahalli Jasuli, Mohamad Fadhli Mohd Shas, Mohd Fandi Othman (Harimau Muda A)

Midfielders (7): K. Gurusamy VC, Wan Zaharulnizam, Mohd Irfan Fazail, Robbat Gary Steven, Shanmugam Sivanesan, Wan Zack Haikal (Harimau Muda A), Mohamad Faizal Abu Bakar (Kedah)

Strikers (3): Ahmad Shakir Ali (Kedah), Ahmad Fakri Saarani (Negeri Sembilan), Thamil Arasu Ambumamee (Harimau Muda A)

Coach : Ong Kim Swee

Technical Officials of Pakistan-Malaysia Olympic Qualifier (9 March , Punjab Stadium,Lahore, 8 PM)

Match Commissioner: Hassan Ghaffari (Iran)
LO Match Commissioner: Mian Rizwan Ali ( Lahore)
Referee Assessor: Jasim Mohammad Mahmood Abdul Karim (Bahrain)
Referees: Hoang Minh Nguyen, Dinh Dung Phung, Minh Tri Vo, Ngoc Ha Nguyen ( All from Vietnam)