As Baddrol Bakhtiar led his teammates out for a light workout at the team's hotel grounds in Jakarta yesterday, nobody could have guessed they were about to play in the biggest game of their lives.None of the players exuded any fear or worries ahead of a tense and potentially explosive Sea Games football final against Indonesia at Gelora Bung Karno today.
For many in this squad, it will be the first chance of success with only four players having played in the 2009 final when Malayasia beat Vietnam 1-0 in Vietnam.
Baddrol was one of those four and the captain exuded an air of confidence of this team's ability to withstand the Indonesian onslaught.
"I expect the second meeting between us to be even more fiery than the first game (which Malaysia won 1-0 in the group stage).
"That win has given us a boost in terms our morale but we have to be cautious and not take things lightly. Although we have suffered injuries to a few players, the replacements are just as capable and our spirits remain high," said Baddrol, who has scored six goals in two Sea Games campaigns including three here.
Goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat knows only too well the reception Malaysia will face today after starring in the senior team's AFF Cup success here last year.
"Indonesia possess good attacking players and we will have to keep our focus at all times. We are all eager to play in the final and we hope to do our best to ensure we retain the gold medal," said Khairul Fahmi, who pulled off a fine point-blank save in the semi-final 1-0 win over Myanmar that ensured Malaysia made the final for the second successive time.