Malaysia plan Suzuki Cup warmups against Singapore and Indonesia
Malaysia are planning a series of international friendlies against Asian rivals in the lead up to November's AFF Suzuki Cup, including high profile games against neighbours Singapore and Indonesia.
Ahead of the squad's return from their Oceania tour this week, coach Ong Kim Swee, and his assistants Brad Maloney and Kris Yong, are preparing a busy schedule for the second half of the year.
The Malaysians have penciled in a friendly againt Indonesia in Jakarta in the first week on September and another match on the road against arch rivals Singapore on Oct. 7. They are also considering offers to play Hong Kong and Afghanistan before the Suzuki Cup kicks off on Nov. 19.
The game against Singapore would be a rematch between the two neighbours who contested a dramatic final group match in the 2014 Suzuki Cup that saw Malaysia come from behind to snatch a 3-2 victory at the Singapore National Stadium.
The trip to Indonesia is also significant with the Merah Putih returning to international action after a 12-month ban from FIFA due to government interference into football affairs.
Meanwhile, assistant coach Brad Maloney has hailed Sunday's performance in the 1-1 draw against Fiji in Nadi as "very good" to round off their three-match Oceania tour.
Amri Yahyah gave Malaysia a first-half lead before Wellington Phoenix striker Roy Krishna equalised for the Fijians in the 72nd minute.
"The Fiji performance was very good under the circumstances as the pitch conditions didn't suit us," Maloney told ESPN FC. "Because of a lack of floodlighting, we played in the heat of the day at 2pm. Fiji fielded their best team available with a blend of experience and players preparing for the Rio Olympics."
According to Maloney, the squad learnt a lot about handling unfavourable conditions during the tour.
He said: "It was a great learning curve. We learnt quickly that we wouldn't get too many favours from officials when playing abroad and we had to be disciplined and deal with that professionally."
Malaysia lost 2-0 to Papua-New Guinea on June 17 before defeating New Caledonia 2-1 on June 22. They will arrive home in Kuala Lumpur, via Sydney, on Tuesday.