Cheng Hoe’s Hari Raya worries

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National football coach Tan Cheng Hoe is currently back with his family in Penang during the three-day break for the Hari Raya festival – just hours after the Harimau Malaya celebrated an encouraging 2-0 win over Nepal in an A international friendly against Nepal on Sunday.
 
It was a morale-boosting win for Malaysia’s in the “warm-up” before facing Timor Leste 2022 World Cup qualifiers on June 7 and 11. Both the matches will be played at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
 
“I agree that our finishing is still the main weakness…but at the same time, we created numerous scoring chances. That is a positive sign,” said Cheng Hoe who added that scoring both goals from set pieces is nothing negative.
 
“Set pieces are a vital part of a football match. I am more than pleased with the effort put in by my players. They gave a creditable performance against a higher ranked team and it is very encouraging for the match against Timor Leste.’
 
Cheng Hoe has told his players “not to lose focus” during the Hari Raya break.
 
“Do not switch off during the festive period with your loved ones. I am well aware that players do tend to ‘switch off’ during a festival. I have told them to be fully focused on the Timor Leste match when they report back for training,” added Cheng Hoe.
 
“I am confident we will be in better shape against Timor Leste. I have faith in my players and know their capabilities.”
 
In the friendly match against Nepal, the first goal came via a penalty converted by Safawi Rasid after 51 minutes while Shahrul Saad added the second on 82 minutes with a glancing header off a freekick by Nor Azam Azim. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH
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