Harimau Muda coach Ong Kim Swee heaped praises on his boys after they beat Tanjong Pagar United FC 3-0 in their second Singapore League (S-League) match at the Yishun Stadium on Friday.
The team’s goals were scored by Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim in the 14th minute, Gary Steven Robbat (45th) and A. Thamil Arasu (94th, penalty).
It has been easy for Kim Swee’s boys so far in S-League as they clinched their second win in as many matches but their next fixtures might prove to be a potential banana skin for the national Under-23 squad.
The team take on Syria in their final Asian Zone Group C Olympic qualifying match on March 14 and then S-League champions Albirex Niigata four days later on March 18.
They are scheduled to leave for Jordan to play Syria on March 11 and return to Malaysia on March 15 leaving them with only three days to prepare for their top of the table clash against Albirex Niigata.
“We have a tricky situation with our fixtures and I’m a bit concerned with the team’s fitness and injury risk.
“I can’t control situations regarding injuries and fatigue. I will formulate some training programme for the rest of the S-League squad not down for the Olympic qualifier.”
Commenting on side’s performance against Tanjong Pagar, Kim Swee said his players have shown maturity and learnt from playing in the Olympic qualifiers.
Malaysia have lost all five qualification matches in Group C – Japan (2-0, 4-0), Syria (2-0) and Bahrain (2-3, 1-2) but the experience have made them wiser.
“The players put on a good display to bounce back from the 4-0 defeat to Japan in their Asian Zone Group C Olympic qualifying match last month,” said Kim Swee.
“My boys remained calm and stayed positive despite being given a hard time by our opponent especially in the second half,” said Kim Swee.
“When they have been exposed to playing at high intensity against a world class team like Japan, they becoming more composed and cool under pressure.”