Malaysia’s Farizal Marlias has been coach Tan Cheng Hoe’s preferred choice in the AFF Suzuki Cup so far. And many expect the ‘number 1’ to start both legs of the Final against Vietnam. However, for Farizal, those two matches hold an even higher value, as he has vowed to avenge Malaysia’s group stage defeat against the Golden Dragons.
“We want to avenge our group stage defeat to Vietnam in the final. It is going to be an exciting final and, we are determined to win the trophy again,” said Farizal in a recent interview.
Vietnam met Malaysia in the group stages and beat them 2-0 despite having just over 30 per cent of the ball. Nevertheless, Malaysia got the better of Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar to make it through to the semifinal.
However, they were almost knocked out of the competition in the dying moments of the semi-final second leg against Thailand, when Syahmi handled the ball inside the penalty box. Adisak Kraisorn, the tournament’s top scorer stepped up to take the spot kick. But Farizal reveals that he already had a plan in place to stop the 90th-minute penalty.
“Adisak always directs his spot kick to the goalkeeper’s left. So I dived to my left as I thought he would aim for his preferred spot. Instead, he kicked the ball over the crossbar.
“We gave everything in that match. Luck played a role but we fought hard. Now, we need to maintain this momentum for the final,” he added.
Malaysia will take on Vietnam in the Final of the AFF Suzuki Cup on December 11 and December 15.