Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Captain Norhafiz To The Rescue, As Sathia Prepares to Assault The Emirates

It’s a good thing that the Kaka – Manchester City deal is over. But will tonight’s game draw any interest from those in power back at Abu Dhabi?

Most likely no, as the Ministry believe Sheikh Mansour and Sheikh Khalifa are now busy going through the list of other football prodigies to join their Arab domain at Manchester. We can only hope they won’t choose to buy one Masal Bugduv.

However in a country where football is not about getting paid GBP500,000 a week but rather not receiving any payment at all for a few months, tonight’s game can either be a moment to cherish or just another same instalment of Malaysian football.

The Harimau Malaya squad will be up against United Arab Emirates, 8.45pm at the KLFA Cheras Stadium. Both teams are drawn in the Group C of Asian Cup 2011 qualifying stage along with Uzbekistan.

Norhafiz Zamani (KL Plus) has been given the honour to wear the captain’s armband, in absence of injured regular captain Shukor Adan (Selangor). Also not able to make it tonight are Norshahrul Idlan (UPB-MyTeam) and Nizaruddin Yusof (Perlis).

“It is not a fantastic option to be in for sure as we were so hopeful that Shukor could put the knee injury behind him and be ready in time for the match against the UAE,” said national coach B Sathianathan, sounding rather depressing.

But the gaffer tried to inject some positive mood later, and perhaps bit of motivation to the rest of the squad. “Worried? Not at all!”

“Considering the opposition and also our current situation, I don’t think it is in our interest to play defensively,” he added, much to the amusement of those at the Ministry.

Not trying to be pessimistic ourselves, we decided to put faith in the line-up of our potent strikers to wreak havoc in UAE’s defence tonight. The last time Malaysia and UAE met, the rich Arab Sheikhs won 3-1.

Just to be on the safer side, we still put our money on UAE to win tonight.

Don’t blame us, blame the economic recession!

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