Where are they now: The Malaysian side one match away from a World Cup

Guided by S. Balachandran, this Malaysia side were one match away from qualifying for the 2015 Under-17 World Cup, after reaching the 2014 AFC Under-16 Championship last eight. Where are these youngsters now?

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A member of the squad who needs little introduction in the present day, Haziq was Malaysia-Under-22’s No.1 at the 2017 SEA Games, where he unfortunately punched the ball into his net as Thailand clinched a 1-0 victory.

Now 19, Haziq signed for Malaysia Super League (MSL) champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) at the start of the year after impressing for PDRM in their 2016 campaign which ended in relegation.

Haziq, who joined privately-owned academy Frenz United for a year in 2015, is tipped to be Malaysia’s future No.1.

Haziq was a part of Malaysia's SEA Games squad this year. Photo:


The left-side player returned to Sarawak after Harimau Muda D was disbanded. There, he played for the Youth Cup Under-19 side before moving up to the state's Under-21 side.

Nor Afirman, who also played for Sarawak in the 2016 Malaysian Games (SUKMA), was shortlisted by Frank Bernhardt for the 2016 AFF Under-19 Championship but he did not make the final squad.


The defender joined MSL side Felda United in 2016 and is currently playing for their Under-21 side.

Ali Imran Almi was part of the Federal Territory side that finished runners-up in the 2016 SUKMA.

Ali Imran also represented Malaysia at the 2015 Asian School Games in China. Domestically, he was part of the Federal Territory side that finished runners-up in the 2016 SUKMA.

Though yet to cement a place in Malaysia's older age-group teams, the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) product was in contention for the AFF Under-19 tournament last year and made Ong Kim Swee's Malaysia Under-22 training squad, only to be dropped prior to the AFC Under-22 Championship in July.


The centre-back was promoted to the Harimau Muda C (Under-19) after his role with the Under-16s.

Hafiy opted to sign for JDT II ahead of Kuala Lumpur. Photo: JDT

He established a starting role for the side and represented Malaysia Under-19 at the 2015 AFF Under-19 and 2016 AFC Under-19 qualifiers (in 2015), both coached by Hassan Sazali Waras. Results were far from satisfactory but the then 17-year-old Hafiy gained valuable experience.

He was subject of transfer tussle between Kuala Lumpur and JDT II ahead of the 2016 season, before joining the latter. He was part of the Malaysia Under-22 squad at the 2016 Nations Cup in Melaka.