Aug 26, 2011

Malaysia v Australia

The Socceroos will reportedly play a friendly against world No.146 Malaysia in Sydney on October 7 ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Oman four days later.

The vice-president of the Football Association of Malaysia, Datuk Subahan Kamal, has been quoted as saying Malaysia will travel to Australia to play the Socceroos on the day before the scheduled start of the A-League season.

"We received an invitation to hold the national team friendly against Australia last week," he said on the team's official Twitter stream.

"The FAM agreed as it is difficult for us to be given the chance to play a team which played in the World Cup like Australia."

"We've never played Australia before and they have quality players like Harry Kewell and Tim Cahill. That's a big challenge."

"Australia have chosen us as the right team for their preparations for World Cup qualification."

Malaysia are already out of the running for World Cup qualification having lost to Singapore in qualification in late July.

Their highest-ever ranking was as world No.77 in 1993 and missed qualification for this year's Asian Cup.

They played in the 2007 Asian Cup as one of the four hosts but lost all three games, scoring just one goal and conceding 12.

FFA have been contacted for comment on the announcement from the FAM.

The reported timing of the match all but rules out FFA changing the A-League schedule to accommodate the much-anticipated debuts of Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton in the season opener between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC at Etihad Stadium.

Safiq set for Cardiff City trials

Malaysian skipper to fly off after Malaysia Cup campaign

Malaysia’s talismanic captain Safiq Rahim will fly off for a trial stint with Cardiff City Football Club once the curtains come down on the Malaysia Cup, which kicks off next month.

Following fruitful talks between Cardiff City chairman, Malaysian-born Datuk Chan Tien Ghee, and Safiq today, it has been confirmed that the Selangor player will spend three weeks on trial with the Welsh outfit as soon as the Red Giants’ Malaysia Cup campaign was over.

The 24-year-old Safiq has been a pivotal figure in the Malaysian top flight league for several seasons now. His reputation has blossomed remarkably since earning his first senior cap in 2007. Last year, he skippered the national team to its maiden AFF Suzuki Cup triumph.

Safiq further rose to prominence following outstanding performances against English Premier League giants Arsenal Football Club and Liverpool Football Club last month. The second match saw the Manchester United fan curl in a sublime freekick in a spirited match which Malaysia eventually lost 6-3.

With him reaching the peak of his career, the invitation for trials with Cardiff City could not have come at a better time for the midfielder who is hell-bent on grabbing the rare opportunity with both hands.

“I am very excited. With an open heart, I will take this offer and give it my best and do Malaysia proud. It’s not every day an opportunity like this comes knocking on your door, especially for a Malaysian. So, I’m fully intent on seizing this chance and making the most of what will be offered to me,” said Safiq.

Meanwhile, Datuk Chan, who took over the championship side in May last year, said he was optimistic that the trials would be a stepping stone for Malaysia as the country continued seeking to relive its glory days.

“We are glad Safiq has accepted our offer for a trial with the first team at Cardiff and we hope that everything turns out well for the boy. He’s young and ambitious … most importantly, he has whatever it takes to make the cut.

“My office has issued the letter of invitation to him and we will make all the arrangements for him at Cardiff. This is a chance for Safiq to pioneer Malaysian football to levels never reached before “ added Dato Chan