SPAN­ISH BOOST

Vin­gada goes for Spain-born Insa

New Straits Times - - Sport -

DEVIN­DER SINGH devin­der@nst.com.my

PA­HANG’S Spain-born mid­fielder Kiko Insa is set to make his de­but for Malaysia af­ter be­ing called up for a se­ries of friendly matches this month.

Insa is one of two for­eign-born play­ers in­cluded in the 24-man squad named by na­tional coach Nelo Vin­gada yes­ter­day, the other be­ing Darul Ta’zim striker Dar­ren Lok.

But there was no call up for Insa’s brother Natxo, the Darul Ta’zim player who has not been cleared for in­ter­na­tional duty, as Vin­gada rang the changes ahead of a Sept 5 Asian Cup qual­i­fier against Hong Kong.

Vin­gada changed half the Hari­mau Malaya squad that were called up for their last match on June 13, a 2-1 de­feat to Le­banon in an Asian Cup qual­i­fier at Larkin in the Por­tuguese’s first game in charge.

Malaysia meet Hong Kong in the next Asian Cup qual­i­fier in Melaka but will play friendlies against Syria (Aug 22), Ma­cau (Aug 25) and Myan­mar (Aug 29) as part of the team’s prepa­ra­tion.

Perak SEDC mid­fielder Shahrel Fikri Fauzi has been re­warded for his ster­ling dis­play in his club’s pro­mo­tion fight while Kedah goal­keeper Farhan Abu Bakar has also fought his way back from a slump with both look­ing to win their first cap.

Other play­ers re­called in­clude Fitri Omar (Kedah), Aidil Za­fuan Radzak, Azrif Nas­rul­haq Badrul Hisyam and Fadhli Shas (Darul Ta’zim), Nasir Basharudin and Nazrin Nawi (Perak) and Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor (Felda United).

Vin­gada ex­cluded Pa­hang’s Matthew Davies and Nor Azam Azih as they are part of the na­tional Un­der-22 team for the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games.

Among those miss­ing out this time are Se­lan­gor at­tacker Amri Yahyah and PKNS striker Safee Sali, who is re­cov­er­ing from a shoul­der in­jury.

Af­ter play­ing Syria at the Hang Je­bat Sta­dium, the na­tional team will travel to Ma­cau and Yan­gon be­fore re­turn­ing to Melaka to face Hong Kong. Farhan Abu Bakar (Ked), Hafizul Hakim Khairul Nizam Jothy (Pk), Khair­u­lazhan Khalid (Sel);

Rizal Ghazali, Khairul Helmi Jo­hari, Fitri Omar (Ked), Aidil Za­fuan Radzak, Azrif Nas­rul­haq Badrul Hisyam, Fadhli Shas (JDT), Shahrom Kalam, Nazirul Naim Che Hashim (Pk);

Bad­drol Bakhtiar, Syazwan Zainon, Akram Mahi­nan (Ked), Safiq Rahim, Amir­ul­hadi Zainal (JDT), Nasir Basharud­din, Nazrin Nawi (Pk), Kiko Insa, Ah­mad Syamim Yahya (Pah), Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor (Felda);

Ah­mad Hazwan Bakri, Dar­ren Lok (JDT), Shahrel Fikri Fauzi (Perak SEDC).

Pa­hang mid­fielder Kiko Insa is set to make his de­but for Malaysia.

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