“We need to learn from our 2015 mistakes” – Safiq Rahim

Harimau Malaysia captain Safiq Rahim urged his teammates to move on from the defeat his country suffered at the hands of Saudi Arabia when the two sides faced in the 2018 World Cup/2019 Asian Cup qualifier at the Shah Alam Stadium in September last year.

Despite being ruled out from getting a ticket for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the national team still has a chance of competing in the Asian Cup qualifying third round.

Thus, Safiq Rahim hopes that his teammates will not give up when they face Saudi Arabia, who sits on top of Group A, at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah on Thursday.

“I scored a goal during our last encounter, but to me, we need to put the past behind us.

‘Whoever has the chance of scoring a goal this time, they will need to take it well.

“The important thing is that we need to learn from that defeat against Saudi Arabia last year. I honestly think that they are one of the best teams in the Asian continent.

“We need to overcome this obstacle to build confidence as a team. This will help us in our next match against Macau next Tuesday,” Safiq Rahim said as quoted by Harian Metro.

Saudi Arabia was winning 2-1 when the match was deliberately forced to stop on the 88th minute due to a disruption from the home crowd, and the away side was awarded a 3-0 win.


The chances of getting a result against Saudi Arabia in Jeddah on Thursday are very unlikely. They sit on top of Group A with 16 points from a possible 18. They have scored 25 goals and conceded only three. A win would definitely give them qualification to the third round of the FIFA World Cup and to the Asian Cup. Why wouldn’t they gain three points against Malaysia?

There’s something inexperienced about Harimau Malaysia. They have a new name, a bunch of new players and a new head coach. It would take a miracle to at least get a point. However, if Datuk Ong Kim Swee manages to select the perfect eleven to start against Saudi Arabia, then they might just be in luck. He was criticized for leaving out the likes of Farizal Marlias, Norazlan Razali, R. Gopinathan and Hadin Azman from his 23-man squad, and there’s nothing we can do about it now. Safiq Rahim and Nazmi Faiz will be pivotal for Ong Kim Swee on Thursday. They will orchestrate the midfield to produce a couple of through balls for the fast wingers in the team and hopefully, a goal would be able to come out of it.

Composure is key and discipline wins you games.

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