Tan Cheng Hoe names settled 25-man Malaysia squad ahead of Vietnam qualifier

Malaysia Timor Leste
Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Malaysia coach Tan Cheng Hoe has called up 25 players for a training camp ahead of next month’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Vietnam with few surprises following a couple of impressive displays last time out.

Harimau Malaya got their second round qualifying campaign up and running on September 5 with a 3-2 win away to arch-rivals Indonesia, and then produced a brave performance to narrowly lose 2-1 to United Arab Emirates – a side which had reached the semi-finals of AFC Asian Cup 2019.

Next up for the Malaysians is another tricky test in Group G away to reigning AFF Suzuki Cup champions Vietnam, and Tan has kept his faith in the same 23 he had at his disposal against UAE with two additions in the form of Aidil Zafuan and Abdul Halim Saari.

Johor Darul Ta’zim centre-back Aidil Zafuan returns to contention as Malaysia’s most-experienced player with over 80 caps to his name, while 24-year-old Abdul Halim is at the opposite end of the spectrum having previously made just two international appearances.

Apart from the recalled duo, there is a fairly settled feel to Tan’s charges and the likes of Syafiq Ahmad, Safawi Rasid and Matthew Davies should all continue to feature prominently in their quest to qualify for both the World Cup and Asian Cup 2023.

Prior to their meeting with Vietnam on October 10, Malaysia warm up against Sri Lanka five days earlier and then have another friendly against Hong Kong on October 15.

GOALKEEPERS: Farizal Marlias (Johor Darul Ta’zim), Hafizul Hakim (Perak TBG), Ifwat Akmal (Kedah)

DEFENDERS: Matthew Davies (Pahang), Syahmi Safari (Selangor), Adam Nor Azlin, Aidil Zafuan, La’Vere Corbin-Ong (all Johor Darul Ta’zim), Irfan Zakaria (Kuala Lumpur), Shahrul Saad, Nazirul Naim (both Perak TBG), Dominic Tan (Police Tero)

MIDFIELDERS: Mohamadou Sumareh, Nor Azam Azih (both Pahang), J. Partiban, Brendan Gan (both Perak TBG), Akram Mahinan (PKNS FC), Syamer Kutty Abba, Akhyar Rashid, Safawi Rasid (all Johor Darul Ta’zim), Abdul Halim Saari (Selangor), Danial Amier Norisham (FELDA United)

FORWARDS: Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Pahang), Shahrel Fikri Fauzi (Perak TBG), Syafiq Ahmad (Johor Darul Ta’zim)