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South Korea warn against LVG, AVB rumours

South Korea
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 By Nicolas Anil

Ong Kim Swee warns Malaysia of Myanmar danger man Aung Thu

Malaysia coach Ong Kim Swee has cautioned his team to mark the movement of Myanmar's hot shot Aung Thu ahead of their Southeast (SEA) Asian Games clash on Monday.

The Yanadarbon FC striker has lit up the men's football tournament with four goals so far, scoring against Singapore, Laos and Brunei.

Ong is aware of the prowess of the forward, who also gave Malaysia a torrid time at the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup in Myanmar last year.

"I don't believe in concentrating on one player, but we know Aung Thu is a good player who has already played in the AFF Cup," Ong told ESPN FC.

"We have to focus throughout the game, as he will make penetrating runs and is a good finisher."

Their talisman aside, Myanmar have quality all over the park. They are emerging as the team to beat from Group A after becoming the first nation qualify for the semifinals, with three wins from three matches.

Aung Thu of Myanmar in 2017 SEA Games
Myanmar striker Aung Thu has scored four goals in three matches in the 2017 SEA Games.

Some of these players have featured in the 2015 U20 World Cup, and are continuing to blossom under the stewardship of Gerd Zeise, who is also in charge of the senior team.

But Malaysia have also done little wrong in their quest to win SEA Games men's football gold for the first time since 2011.

The hosts overcame a gritty Brunei 2-1 last Monday, and showed character to come from behind to beat Singapore by the same margin on Wednesday.

Victory over Myanmar would seal their semifinal berth, and Ong has rallied on his men to produce their best at Shah Alam Stadium.

"I believe the boys will get better against Myanmar, and we should be able to get what we want which is the semifinal. They may have qualified, but we cannot think if they will be fielding a strong side or not," Ong said.

"We have to focus on our task of getting three points on Monday."

Ong has utilised 19 of his 20 man squad in the tournament so far, with only Johor Darul Ta'zim II forward Syazwan Andik yet to see any action.

The ex-national full-back could again tinker with his forward line on Monday, having alternated between Jafri Firdaus Chew, Syafiq Ahmad, S. Kumaahran and N. Thanabalan against Brunei and Singapore.

Finishing top of Group A would be the priority for Ong's men so they could take the same momentum into the last four.

After the Myanmar game, Malaysia complete their group fixtures against Laos on Wednesday.

Nicolas Anil is a former Malay Mail and Goal.com Malaysia editor/writer who appears on BFM Radio as a football analyst. Twitter: @nicolas_anil.

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