Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek hopes that Malaysia can beat Japan in Olympic Group C Asian Zone Qualifying match at National Stadium, Bukit Jalil on Wednesday.
He said that a win would be a nice gift to fans although Malaysia failed to progress in the tournament after failing to win any of the matches played.
"As one of the top teams in Asean, we are expected to put up a tough fight against Japan.
"I hope the players seize the chance by doing well in front their own fans," he told reporters at Prophet Muhammad birthday celebration here Saturday.
Malaysia lost 0-2 to Japan in the first leg match at Tosu Stadium on Sept 21 last year. Group C comprises Bahrain, Japan, Malaysia and Syria.