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 Sports

Asyraaf to work on team’s finishing

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GOING FOR IT … Dadree Rofinus (left), being challenged by an unidentified Singapore player during their International A friendly at UiTM Stadium on Wednesday.

11th August, 2017

By FRANCIS XAVIER

KOTA KINABALU: National women football team coach Mohd Asyraaf Fong Abdullah will be using the remaining days of their preparations to sharpen their finishing ahead of their opener against Philippines next week.

He said his lightweight attack is something that needs urgent attention, and that it must be rectified if they are to realise their bronze-medal target.

Asyraaf said this after seeing his side registered a narrow 1-0 win over Singapore in their final warm up match that was played at the UiTM Stadium on Wednesday.

Sandakan-born Usliza Usman, 22, starred for her side as she netted the solitary goal of the night by unleashing a powerful drive from just outside the box four minutes after the break.

“We were playing against a new look Singapore side that is under the watchful eyes of a new coach.

“It seemed they have opted for a defensive play, which I admit has given us quite a problem. That prompted us to switch from 3-4-3 formation to 4-1-2-3 after the break, as we want to play a offensive game. Unfortunately, our poor finishing is giving the team a problem as we squandered numerous goal opportunities in front of our opponent’s goalmouth,” said Asyraaf.

“Playing on a wet and quite a bit muddy pitch has more or less interrupts the rhythm of our game because this was our first time playing on that kind of condition (wet and muddy field).

“Nevertheless, we are happy to have register a slim win, and I believe it has given us some kind of confidence and help lift the morale and spirit in the team,” said Asyraaf.

In the SEA Games, Asyraaf’s girls will kick off their campaign by taking on Philippines on Aug 15 followed by a date with Myanmar (Aug 17), then against Thailand on Aug 20 before concluding their group challenge against Vietnam on Aug 24.

Malaysia, who is currently ranked 80 in the FIFA Ranking list is facing an uphill battle in realising their target, at least on paper, as they are facing teams, who are all ranked above them in the FIFA ranking. Thailand is ranked 29 while Vietnam 32, Myanmar 45 and Philippines 71.

   
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