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AFF Suzuki Cup 2010Tonight Malaysia face Vietnam in the second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 Semi Final Leg 2. The match will be played in Hanoi. Can the relatively young Malaysian team continue their fairy tale journey to the final?

I believe that Rajagobal’s young boys can indeed make it into the final this year. Following are the reasons why.
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  1. Malaysia have a team playing as a team. One of Rajagobal’s success is in instilling team play into the current set of players. In the past few matches, I see 11 players that play and work together on the field as one team. They defended and move together. Their teamwork has seen the fall of two great teams so far – Thailand and Vietnam. I believe if they can continue to play as a team, they will only become stronger.
  2. Malaysia have no “Star” player. One good thing about this relatively young team is none of them have the “I am a Star” mentality. On the field and off the field, they are all very much down to earth. They are playing solely for Malaysia and nothing else.
  3. Malaysia have played the worst. Every team will have a bad day out. Malaysia have had theirs already in this tournament. The very first match – against Indonesia. They’ve made their mistakes and have learned from it. From then on, they can only go up.
  4. Malaysia have peaked at the right moment. After the disastrous outing in the first match against Indonesia, the Malaysian team have been improving. In every single game afterwards, the team have showed that they are getting better. They are defending better. They are attacking better. They are working together and communicating better. This Malaysian Football team have peaked at just the right moment in this tournament.
  5. Malaysia have nothing to lose. What have they got to lose? No one gave them any chance of progressing this far. Especially after falling 1-5 in the first match. Yet, they are now in the semi final, with a two goal advantage. It’s all bonus from here on.
  6. Malaysia have everything to gain. When you have nothing to lose, then every success is a gain. No matter what happens in tonight’s game, this team has gained a lot of respect from every one. They have put Malaysia’s name back on the right track in terms of football in this region.
  7. Malaysia have defended well. Defense is an area where I’ve seen the most improvement. Just look at the scoreline in all our games. Apart from the 5 goal drubbing Malaysia suffered in the first match, the team have allowed only one goal. They have managed to keep a clean sheet in two matches. Both against relatively stronger teams. Keep it up and the final is in the bag.
  8. Malaysia have taken chances well. In the last two matches, Malaysia have managed to convert the chances that came their way. 5 times against Laos and twice against Vietnam. They just need to continue taking all the chances that come their way.
  9. Malaysia have the backing of the fans. The fans are now back after a long hiatus. Yes, the team have the backing of the supporters now. I believe that the fans will continue to support this team even if they lose. That’s important for the morale of these young players. It helps them stay motivated and may even provide them with that extra push to win a match.
  10. Malaysia have a winning mentality. During the dark ages of Malaysian football, I always hear the Malaysian coach playing down their chance at winning a game. This is not what I’m hearing from this team and the coach. This team – the coach, players and officers all believe that the team can produce. By believing, they have already won half the battle. This time around, we have a Malaysia Football team that really believes in “Malaysia Boleh”

Lets take a look at one of the team’s finest moments this year shall we?

What do you think? Will Malaysia make it all the way?

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