AFF Suzuki Cup Final: Dollah Hopes to repeat Midas touch in first leg


BANGKOK, Dec 17 – National football squad (Harimau Malaya) Head Coach, Dollah Salleh hopes to repeat his Midas touch when they take on Thailand in the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup final first-leg at the Rajamangala National Stadium, here, tomorrow.

Malaysia went down 1-2 against Vietnam in the semi-final first leg on Dec 7 at the Shah Alam Stadium before bouncing back brilliantly to secure a comfortable 4-2 win in the return leg, played at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, four days later.

“Hopefully, we can repeat the same feat (against Thailand), tomorrow.

Frankly, I did not expect that our boys will perform so well against Vietnam, and for me, it’s a good sign for the team since we have lost to Vietnam before in their own backyard,” Dollah told a pre-match press conference, here, today.

The former Police coach said, skipper Muhammad Shukor Adan and seasoned striker, Mohd Safee Mohd Sali, who were earlier reported to be suffering injuries, had returned to training session and both of them were set to feature in the epic battle.

On Thailand, Dollah admitted that the ‘War Elephants’ side under the tutelage of their former international, Kiatisuk Senamuang, were not an easy opponent but was confident that his boys would give their best shot.

Echoeing his views was Mohd Safee who promised to showcase a good performance in tomorrow’s match.

“The morale of players is quite good to play in tomorrow’s match although we know it will be a tough battle. Most importantly, we need to display our best performance against Thailand who were undefeated in the three preliminary matches of Group B (in Singapore) before,” said the Johor Darul Ta’zim striker.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Assistant Head Coach, Choktawee Promrat said his young side were well-prepared to face Malaysia while expecting the national side to gave them a run for money.

“We respect them as former champions (in 2010) but I’m still confident that we can win tomorrow’s match,” he said, adding that Kiatisuk was set to field his first eleven squad.

Sharing his views was Thailand’s goalkeeper, Kawin Thamsatchanan who admitted playing in two straight finals including in the 2012 edition was quite exciting but warned his teammates not to underestimates Malaysia who were looking to avenge the 2-3 defeat (against Thailand) in the preliminary round on Nov 26 in Singapore.

Malaysia and Thailand will meet in the second leg, slated to be held at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Dec 20 to decide the winner of the 10th edition of the biennial football tournament.