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Saturday, 30 July 2011
Safee Sali urges fans to keep faith in national team
Malaysian striker Safee Sali has urged fans to have faith in the national team which he believes can only get better in time.
The Pelita Jaya striker was gutted after Malaysia bowed out of the World Cup qualifiers following a 6-4 aggregate defeat to Singapore on Thursday.
It should have been a memorable occasion for Safee, who was given the honour of leading the team out for the first time and then scored the goal which revived Malaysia's chances.
A defensive lapse again hurt Malaysia as the second leg ended 1-1 but Safee, the oldest player in the squad, sees a bright future for the team.
"We failed. We tried as hard as we could until our last fighting breath. The chance was right there in front of our eyes but we were not able to grasp it.
"Still, we have to think about the future and in this team I see a bright one ahead. I'm 27, and as the most senior player in the team, my time is limited.
"But these boys are young and if they work hard, they will get better," said Safee, who scored three times against Singapore over the two legs but to no avail.
Goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, who has already won nine caps at 22, is among those who have the makings of a national star in due time.
"Everyone played well, it was not just me," said Fahmi, who was instrumental in keeping Malaysia's hopes alive with a string of fine saves in the second leg.
"Maybe it was not meant to be, we played well but Singapore maybe deserved to go through."
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