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AFF U23 Championship

Ambitious Malaysia takes on Myanmar in their AFF U-23 Championship campaign opener

03:00 EAT 15/02/2022
Malaysia U23
Several new faces have been called up by the Malaysia coach

Malaysian head coach Brad Maloney is a man on a mission. The Australian tactician wants to continue the rich vein of form that his troops showed in the 2022 AFC U-23 Asian Qualifiers in Mongolia in 2021. The Young Tigers remained unbeaten and progressed to the final stage of the tournament after finishing top of Group J.

Maloney has been training with his troops in Kuala Lumpur since January 27 as part of preparations for the tournament and has also played two friendlies against Sabah FC and Kuala Lumpur City FC. They landed in Cambodia on February 12 and have had a couple of training sessions already.

Malaysia's best finish in the AFF U-23 Championship came back in 2005 when they finished fourth. However, Saravanan Thirumurugan and co. will hope to better their performance in this edition of the competition.

MALAYSIA U23 RECENT RESULTS

Date

Match

Competition

October 25, 2021

Malaysia 1-0 Laos

2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualification

October 28, 2021

Mongolia 0-1 Malaysia

2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualification

October 31, 2021

Thailand 0-0 Malaysia

2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualification

On the other hand, Myanmar, under the watchful eyes of head coach Velizar Popov, have been training for this tournament for over a month at the Thuwanna National Hall facilities in Yangon. The Bulgarian coach had taken 30 players under his wings with most of them hailing from the team that took part in the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers.

The Chinthe finished second in Group I of the qualifiers and yet could not progress to the finals as they were ranked sixth in the second-placed teams' table. But they have a chance to redeem themselves in this competition where they won a bronze in 2005, incidentally after beating Malaysia in a penalty shoot-out in the third-place playoff match.

Myanmar U23 RECENT RESULTS

Date

Match

Competition

October 30, 2021

Myanmar 1-0 Chinese Taipei

2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualification

November 2, 2021

Vietnam 1-0 Myanmar

2022 AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualification

Both teams are expected to go all out for a win in the very first match, given that the three group winners will qualify directly for the semifinals along with the best runner-up.

GROUP B STANDINGS

Position

Team

Games

Points

Goal difference

1.

Malaysia

0

0

0

2.

Myanmar

0

0

0

3.

Laos

0

0

0