KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia coach Tan Cheng Hoe believes that statistics don’t lie and calls on his men to improve their game against Myanmar in tonight’s final Group A match of the AFF Suzuki Cup.
Malaysia have failed to beat ‘The White Angels’ in their last four meetings, having drawn two and lost two, including the 0-1 setback in the group stage of the 2016 edition of this competition.
The last time Malaysia beat Myanmar was in 2011 – winning 2-0 in an international friendly.
But there’s nothing friendly about tonight’s clash at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil as Malaysia will need all three points to seal a spot in the semi-final and end their seven-year winless run against Myanmar.
Malaysia now have six points and are third in the group behind Myanmar and Vietnam, who both have seven points each.
Cheng Hoe will be counting on home ground advantage to break the run.
“I’m sure playing at home can be a good motivation for us and, as a coach, I want my players to be fully focused in the match as any lapse in concentration will be costly for us,” Cheng Hoe said at the pre-match press conference at the stadium yesterday.
“It is a very important match and we have to respect our opponents because Myanmar are playing well … it won’t be an easy game.”
Cheng Hoe also warned his players not to repeat mistakes in their previous game against Vietnam, which they lost 0-2 despite dominating the game.
“We may have lost to Vietnam, but we have to stick to our philosophy and believe in the way we are playing.
“Myanmar will have the strategy to play on the counter, so we have to be very careful when we attack,” he said.
A win over Myanmar will put Malaysia in the semis as a runners up in the group behind Vietnam, who are favourites to claim all three points when they take on Cambodia in Hanoi today. — Bernama