Schedule & Results
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Football team skipper defiant ahead of do-or-die match
National U-23 football team skipper Fandi Othman (right) takes a shot in the Group B match against Vietnam at the Singapore SEA Games on Tuesday. - S.S.KANESAN/The STAR
SINGAPORE: Win. You stay. Lose. Pack up and go home.
The message cannot get any clearer than that for the national U-23 football team at the Singapore SEA Games.
But team skipper Fandi Othman was in defiant mood despite the humiliating 5-1 loss to Vietnam in their second Group B match at the Bishan Stadium on Tuesday.
After apologising to Malaysians for the heavy defeat, he said: “It’s not the end of the road!”
Fandi knows they must beat fancied Thailand at the Bishan Stadium on Thursday (4pm) if they are to stay in contention for a place in the semi-finals.
Lose. It is virtually over bar the shouting.
“Our SEA Games campaign isn’t over yet! We have to bounce back against Thailand. We must win if we want to qualify for the semi-finals,” said the leftback.
The defeat has put the national Under-23 side in danger of failing to qualify for the semi-finals of the Games for the first time in eight years.
Vietnam lead the group on goal difference ahead of Thailand although both teams have six points after two matches each. Malaysia are fourth on three points, below Timor Leste on goal difference.
The 23-year-old Fandi knows it will be hard to motivate his team-mates after the demoralising defeat, but said that it was his job to gee them up for the fight ahead.
“The boys are obviously crushed, but we can’t dwell on it ... we need to move on,” said the Johor Darul Ta’zim II player.
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