Datuk Ong Kim Swee: The show must go on – even without Zaquan

Natonal football coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee has urged his players to give their best tonight — even if they have to do without their prominent winger Zaquan Adha.

The Perak player had to leave Manila last night after getting a phone call from his family in Malaysia and learning that his father has passed on.

His father, Abd Radzak Salleh, 68, passed away at the Hospital Tuanku Ja’afar (HTJ) Seremban at approximately 4pm yesterday. Zaquan immediately booked the next flight home.

According to the Malay Mail Online, Zaquan Adha’s eldest brother, Zafran, confirmed that their father passed away due to complications of asthma and intestinal problems.

However, the Harimau Malaysia head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee insist that the show must go on, even without Zaquan Adha in the squad.

“To have lost a father is very hard. Family comes first,” Datuk Ong Kim Swee said. The coach added that Zaquan must go home and be with his family during this tough period.

That means that Malaysia will have to play against the Philippines today without the former JDT man.

“Yes, I had plans, I was going to include him in the starting XI, but I think it’s better for him to go home. It will not be advisable for him to play when he has received a shocking news like that.” Datuk Ong Kim Swee added.

Datuk Ong Kim Swee still has a reliable list of players to choose from, even though he admits that Zaquan’s absence will be felt.

“Now that Zaquan is gone, I still have players like Baddrol Bakhtiar, Amri Yahyah, Syazwan Zainon and Hadin Azman to play on the left and right flanks,” he explained to Arena Metro.

Malaysia will face Philippines at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in an international friendly tonight, at 7.30 pm.

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