After missing out on the Indonesia SEA Games, Wan Zack Haikal Wan Noor wants to make his presence felt for the National Under-23 team in the Asian Zone third round Olympic qualifier against Bahrain at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow.
Wan Zack injured his ankle during the opener of the Asian Zone qualifier against Japan in Fukuoka two months ago and was forced to skip the Games which saw Malaysia retaining the football gold medal.
The 20–year-old recovered in time to turn in a impressive performance in the qualifier against Syria on Wednesday.
Even National Under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee was impressed.
The Pahang-born winger was Malaysia’s main threat in that match and narrowly missed scoring in the 2-0 loss to Syria.
Wan Zack, who is on loan to Slovak club ViOn Zlate Moravce, will again be tasked to spearhead the Malaysian attack against Bahrain tomorrow.
“It would be a lie if I said it was not disappointing to have missed the SEA Games. However, I am happy the team retained the gold medal,” said Wan Zack.
“The match on Sunday is a good opportunity for us to get the full points and revive our hopes of qualifying for the London Olympics.
“The experience from playing against Syria gave us an idea on how to play Bahrain and we will be better prepared.
“We hope to redeem ourselves in front of our own crowd after losing two matches in the qualifying campaign.”
Kim Swee admitted that he was surprised by Wan Zack’s performance against Syria.
“I’m shocked to see Wan Zack played for 90 minutes after not playing for almost two months. It showed that Wan Zack has been training on his own to regain match fitness and I think his attitude should be followed by the other players.”