Malaysian goalkeeper keeps his focus despite controversy
Khairul Fahmi Che Mat
Khairul Fahmi Che Mat has been in the news at home for all the wrong reasons lately but the goalkeeper is content to go about his business quietly at the Sea Games in Jakarta.
After pulling off several fine saves against Singapore and Thailand in Malaysia's opening two Group A matches, Fahmi is confident the team have what it takes to go deep in the tournament.
The 22-year-old Kelantan custodian is a well-known figure in Indonesia following his sterling role in Malaysia's AFF Cup success last year and they are not likely to forget he also saved a penalty in the final against the hosts in Senayan.
Fahmi, who had pictures of him at a nightclub splashed in a Malaysian daily just a week before leaving for Jakarta, has his sights set only on the next game when Malaysia face Cambodia tomorrow.
"All the teams still have a chance and we can't get too ahead of ourselves just because we beat Thailand. It's a good win but there are two more games to go and we have to work on some areas of our game yet," said Fahmi, who is captain of Malaysia's Under-22 Olympic team.
Malaysia defeated Cambodia 4-2 in 2009 when Sharbinee Allawee Ramli's penalty save when the score was 1-1 marked the start of Malaysia's run to the gold medal.
Such heroics will likely not be required tomorrow but Fahmi warned against taking Cambodia lightly despite the group's minnows poor record here, having lost all three of their matches.
"They may not have picked up a point yet but they will want to go out with a bang and we have to watch out for that," said Fahmi, who is also content to take a backseat here after Baddrol Bakhtiar was tasked with leading the Under-23 Sea Games side.
A win at the Gelora Bung Karno tomorrow will inch Malaysia closer to the semi-finals ahead of a potentially decisive clash against Indonesia on Thursday.