# Coach Kim Swee warns his players to be full focused
# Timor Leste much wiser after 3-0 defeat in the first-leg
By Rizal Abdullah
Malaysia’s 3-0 win in the first-leg on Thursday does not make them any favourite in the return-leg 2019 Asia Cup playoff against Timor Leste at Johor Bahru’s Larkin Stadium on Monday.
And national football head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee is well aware of the dangers from Timor Leste whose coach Fabio da Silba has warned that his side “is better prepared” for the return encounter.
In short the warning is out for Malaysia to be prepared for the backlash from Timor Leste after the Malaysians eased to a 3-0 win and missed a couple of scoring chances on the heavy pitch.
“We simply cannot be over confident from the win in the first-leg. Timor Leste will be better prepared and we expect a much tougher fight from our opponents in the return-leg,” said Kim Swee.
The return-leg will also be played at the Larkin Stadium – the home of the Southern Tigers – at the request of Timor Leste. The Larkin pitch is the best football pitch in the country and it has been a happy hunting ground for JDT, two-time winners of the Malaysian Super League title.
The win in the first-leg has given Malaysia a second shot at playing in the 2019 Asian Cup Finals. Malaysia scored a brace through Selangor striker Hazwan Bakri and one by JDT’s Amri Yahyah for the 3-0 win last Thursday.
The match also saw JDT goalkeeper Izham Tarmiz Roslan eastablish himself as the country’s No 1 goalkeeper. Izham showed a safe pair of hands in the first-leg. He also played a sterling role in the friendly matches against Macau and Myanmar.
It eased the pressure on Kim Swee and the national team and hopes are strong that the national team will be stay alive for a place in the Asia Cup Finals.
“We can only get better. The players displayed discipline and commitment in the first-leg and I expect a better showing from them when we play again on Monday. The match will be played on the first day of Ramadhan (fasting month) but we have taken care of that,” added the Malacca-born Kim Swee, a former international.