White An­gels only fear Malaysia

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MYAN­MAR coach Gerd Zeise is con­fi­dent his charges will progress to­gether with hosts Malaysia from Group A of the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games (KL2017) foot­ball com­pe­ti­tion.

The Ger­man rates Malaysia, led by Ong Kim Swee, as their strong­est ri­vals in Group A, which also features Sin­ga­pore, Brunei and Laos.

“We can­not un­der­es­ti­mate our ri­vals. Malaysia is a strong team, Sin­ga­pore are OK we have played them be­fore this (and won), Laos are im­prov­ing while Brunei are also OK, not too strong,” said Zeise, when met at Kuala Lumpur In­ter­na­tional Air­port (KLIA) yes­ter­day.

“I hope Malaysia and Myan­mar will qual­ify for the semi-fi­nals.”

Myan­mar are one of the favourites in Group A hav­ing fin­ished run­ners-up in the tour­na­ment in Sin­ga­pore two years ago where they went down 3-0 to Thai­land in the fi­nal.

The White An­gels, how­ever, fell short in the un­der-23 Asian Cham­pi­onships qual­i­fy­ing last month and went down 2-0 to Kim Swee’s charges in a friendly at the Shah Alam Sta­dium on July 13.

Zeise, who also coaches’ Myan­mar’s se­nior side, is not wor­ried by his play­ers’ re­cent form.

“De­spite some in­juries, I have brought my best side here. We did not play well dur­ing the (friendly) loss to Malaysia, the con­di­tion of the pitch was also bad at the time.

“I be­lieve the Myan­mar ver­sus Malaysia match will be in­ter­est­ing and I hope we make it past the group stage and make it to the fi­nal.”

Myan­mar will open their cam­paign against Sin­ga­pore at the Se­layang Sta­dium on Mon­day. Az­i­man Rosdi

PIC BY LUQMAN HAKIM ZUBIR

Myan­mar coach Gerd Zeise is in­ter­viewed af­ter ar­riv­ing at KLIA with the team yes­ter­day.

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