(File pix) National Under-23 squad players Akhyar Rashid (right) and Muhammad Hadi Fayyadh Abdul Razak (middle) during a training session. "Malaysia also showed that they are dangerous on the flanks with both Akhyar and Davies once again. When they were trailing 1-3 against Iraq, Malaysia showed that they can score if not for individual mistakes which caused them to lose by such a scoreline,” said Saudi Arabia coach Daniel Teglia. Pix by Luqman Hakim Zubir

CHANGSHU: Saudi Arabia coach Daniel Teglia admits his charges are aware and cautious about Malaysia’s revival leading up to their final group C match in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-23 Championship in Kushan, this coming Tuesday.

Ong Kim Swee’s boys pulled off an upset when they held Jordan to a 1-1 draw at the Changshu Stadium yesterday (Saturday), after being thrashed 4-1 by Iraq in the first group match on Wednesday.

Competition for the coveted two slots to the quarter-finals are still open as group C leaders Iraq were held to a 0-0 draw by the Saudis, who played out a 2-2 draw in their first group match against Jordan.

Teglia believes Malaysia will be anything but easy to play as both teams are on a similar mission which is to book a place in the quarter-finals.

"To be honest, Malaysia played really well against the Jordanians yesterday (Saturday). In fact, they should have won the match. They had two golden opportunities to score through Akhyar Abdul Rashid and Matthew Davies efforts which hit the post.

"Malaysia also showed that they are dangerous on the flanks with both Akhyar and Davies once again. When they were trailing 1-3 against Iraq, Malaysia showed that they can score if not for individual mistakes which caused them to lose by such a scoreline,” he said during the press conference after their match against Iraq yesterday (Saturday).

Therefore the Argentinian coach expects a tough match when they face Malaysia on Tuesday.

"Malaysia have many good players and I believe this will be a closely contested match which will be very interesting and entertaining. Now all the teams stand a chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals and obviously we will want to grab the chance to progress further in the championship,” he said.

885 reads