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Mr. Bola-Bola – Pujian mesti diberi apabila pujian mesti diberi

The first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup enthuses a lot of Malaysian as well as Indonesia. It is indeed a battle royale between these two teams. It is like the Great Britain derby when England meets Scotland or nations from the British isle.

Satu persembahan yang membanggakan. Selepas Malaysia tewas di perlawanan pertama di Indonesia, ramai bersangka pasukan kita akan pulang awal. Alasan bahawa ramai key players injured adalah alasan mudah to pacify our team’s demise from the tournament. Tetapi nampaknya, pasukan K Rajagobal bermain from strength to strength. Pemain muda yang digilap dari skuad Harimau kali ini menampakkan kemajuan berbeza dengan usaha-usaha yang lalu. Tiba-tiba nama seperti Mahali, Fadli mula mendapat tempat dibibir peminat. Kekuatan pertahanan Malaysia kini menjadi lebih kompetitif apabila the injured players sehat semula. Satu petanda yang positif untuk pasukan Malaysia kerana our substitute bench will have more qualities.

Selepas mendiang Aru the spiderman, adakala kita punya penjaga gol yang mantap. Tetapi apabila berlaku sekali kesilapan, selalunya confidence level yang membuat silap akan mula luntur. Harap-harap ini tidak berlaku lagi. Our present goalkeeper looks very decent with high technical ability.

Kita masih mencari-cari playmaker yang mantap seperti Wong Choong Wah, Shukor Salleh mahupun Azizul Abu Hanifah. Namun what we have right now is not that bad as their work rate today is very high.

Our wingers seems to be our strength in the offensive lines as they dare to take on defenders and provides the ammo for our strike force to sumbat the goals.  Nor Idhlan Talaha is a gem. Safee Ali has regain his sharpness. I have always like Ashaari, the Terengganu boy who is very impressive while putting on Terengganu’s jersey. If I am not mistaken, the two injured strikers are also as impressive.

It is good to note of the big pool of players worthy for national duty. Credit must also be given to B Sathianathan who help discover and groom the young boys.

Kita masih belum dapat menjulang piala AFF Suzuki tu walaupun kemenangan keatas Indonesia dengan 3 gol amat memberangsangkan. After the first half, I was a bit skeptical that we will get three goals. But all the three goals that we have were masterful. It ain’t a flash in the pan. I’d say they are all world class. Ketiga-tiga gol tu memang sangat mahal. Gol ketiga Safee was special. Mahali lob bola tu and, fuh..its is like music to see Safee head it on. Satu hasil seni yang sangat mahal harganya. Dua gol lagi memang memerlukan skill dan composure yang sangat tinggi. Gol kedua tu menunjukkan Ashaari ada lah satu striker yang sangat tenang. Anyhow credit must be given to everybody in the team including the fans.

Kita sangat berharap, pasukan kita dapat mengekang Indonesia di gelanggangnya sendiri. Jangan dihantui dengan kekalahan 5-1 di awal tournament ini. Even on that defeat, we played well. Jadikan semangat tewas dengan China di Asian Games dengan hanya 9 pemain sebagai confidence booster. Walk tall into Indonesian stadium and walk in like a champ to be. We want the cup and then we want to progress at the bigger stage in Asian soccer.

Kami doakan kejayaan pasukan kita di Final yang kedua nanti. Obviously we need two more goals at least! We have scored 4 against the Indonesia in this tournament, we need two more to brag about our feat until the next tourney.

Good luck boys! May the force be with us. Amin.

Cheers…

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