# Palestine holds Saudi Arabia to a scoreless draw
# Kim Swee, however, still counting on a positive result
National caretaker football coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee watched a new look Palestine team hold Saudi Arabia to a scoreless draw in a Group A World Cup (Asian Zone) qualifier at the Amman International Stadium in Jordan on Monday.
“Palestine will be tough…they have revamped their team after the away match against Timor Leste (1-1 draw),” said Kim Swee from Jordan.
“They (Palestine) drew with Saudi Arabia and also drew with UAE (United Arab Emirates) and this shows that Palestine are a tough side. This are clear signals that we have our work cut out for us.
“Still, I am counting on a positive result…something we can achieve if we play to our match plans. I have to workout my match plans and strategies after watching Palestine play Saudi.”
Kim Swee, however, is not getting distracted with what he saw in the Palestine-Saudi match. Instead, the former international is counting on hi players on a committed, disciplined and desire to get a positive result.
The national squad is in Jordan without some of the key players who have been left behind because of personal and family commitments, suspension and injuries.
Kedah’s Baddrol Bakhtiar is getting married on Nov 13 – a day after Malaysia take on Paletine, while Safee Sali (JDT) is serving suspension while Pahang’s Hafiz Kamal and Azamuddin Akil and JDT’s S. Kunanlan are injured.
This forced Kim Swee to call up several from his standby list, including JDT’s Fazly Mazlan who earned his first national call-up after his impressive performance for the newly crowned AFC Cup champions.
JDT, who are also the reigning Malaysian Super League champions, provide the bulk of the players to the national team and Kim Swee hopes that JDT’s success on the local and Asian front “will inspire” Harimau Malaya.
Kim Swee had a tough time in naming his final squad to Jordan. Apart from that Kim Swee also requested the FA of Malaysia (FAM) to change the venue for the Palestine match from Hebron to a neutral venue.
It was only hours before the national squad left for Amman that FAM received news that FIFA had switched the venue to Jordan.
Saudi Arabia lead the group with 13 points with UAE in second place with seven points. Palestine are third on six points followed by Malaysia fourth (four points) and Timor Leste at the bottom with two points.
THE MALAYSIAN SQUAD IN JORDAN
GOALKEEPERS: Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (Kel), Khairul Azhan Khalid (Pah), Izham Tarmizi Roslan (JDT)
DEFENDERS: Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak (JDT), Fazly Mazlan (JDT), Shahrul Saad (Felda United), Amiridzwan Taj Tajuddin (Kel), Matthew Davies (Pah), Razman Roslan (Pah), Ronny Harun (Swk), Azrif Nasrulhaq Badrul Hisham (Sel), Nazirul Naim Che Hashim (Young Tigers)
MIDFIELDERS: Safiq Rahim (JDT), S. Chanturu (JDT), Christie Jayaseelan (Felda United), Wan Zack Haikal (Kel), Redzuan Suhaidi (Pen), Ismail Faruqi (Tganu), Adam Nor Azlin (Young Tigers), Azwari Ibrahim (Young Tigers)
FORWARDS: Amri Yahyah (JDT), Ahmad Fakri Saarani (Kel), Ahmad Hazwan Bakri (Sel)