Kunanlan confident of semi-final berth
With hosts Singapore losing to Thailand on the opening day, Malaysia currently share the second spot with Myanmar going into the second matchday of Group B.
Taking on the Thais at Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday evening, Kunanlan believes his side has what it takes to down their highly-fancied opponents and eventually make it to the semi-finals of the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup.
“We’re still confident of progressing because we already have one point and are now in second place,” he told FourFourTwo after his team’s training session yesterday.
“Now we must look forward and prepare as well as we can for the game against Thailand.”
With the bulk of the Thai squad coming from their Under-23s that finished fourth in the recent Incheon Asian Games, Kiatisuk Senamuang’s side has speed in abundance, which Kunanlan believes the Harimau Malaya need to cope with.
“Thailand play a fast attacking game with fast movement,” he commented.
“That’s why we need to attack and defend as a unit to stop them. Although this team is different from the one we faced in the last Suzuki Cup, they are still a very strong team.
“All their players are very good, especially their no. 7 [Charyl Chappuis] who we have to mark tightly.”
The Malaysians missed out on the 2012 final after losing to the War Elephants in the second leg of the semi-final, with the goals coming in after centre-back Fadhli Shas was dismissed late into the first half, something Kunanlan hopes to avoid in this upcoming clash.
“I remember the last time we lost in Thailand, we got an early red card and played with only 10 players,” said the 28-year-old.
“We certainly don’t want that to happen again and we want to win this game to go top [of the group].”
(Picture: Khairil Ajhar Jaafar/asiana.my)