Datuk Ong Kim Swee said his national Under-22 team still has plenty of work to be done following their close 1-0 lost to their counterparts from China in a friendly that was played this evening at the Xiangtan Sports Centre Stadium.

“There’s still a lot of aspects that we need to improve on. The team showed character towards the end but still we’re not good enough.

“Our defence fell asleep in the first minute and we conceded a silly goal. We fought hard in the second half but it was just unfortunate that we couldn’t find the equaliser.

“I believe that had we scored the equaliser, it would have changed the rhythm of the game and the final results,” explained Kim Swee.

With only a month away from the AFC U23 Championships qualifiers, Kim Swee believes that there is still time to turn things around before their opening game in Group H against Indonesia on 19 July, Thailand (21 July) and Mongolia (23 July).

“If you get your players for a week or ten days, it’s not enough to prepare for a tournament. In youth development, I believe in a continuous programme where a month will definitely be good enough for a country to prepare before they participate in a big tournament.

“The boys still need a lot of games. In the second half, I think we controlled the game better where we had more attempts on goal. We definitely need to improve on our weaknesses and our concentration from the start to the end of the game,” said Kim Swee. – BY ALVIN OH


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