Harimau Malaya hit by injuries, key players out for World Cup qualifiers

FAM confirmed that 22 more players have been placed on standby.

24 May 2024 09:02am
Photo for illustration purpose only. Photo: FB FAM
Photo for illustration purpose only. Photo: FB FAM
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KUALA LUMPUR - Harimau Malaya head coach Kim Pan Gon's task just got tougher after he lost the services of three key players for the two remaining Group D matches in the second round of the 2026 World Cup/2027 Asian Cup Qualifiers against Kyrgyzstan and Taiwan next month.

The three are wingers Arif Aiman Mohd Hanapi and Mohamad Faisal Abdul Halim and Raul Morales, the newly-naturalised striker who scored the equaliser for Malaysia in the 3-3 draw with South Korea in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 in January.

A Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) statement today said that the trio and left-back Muhammad Azam Azmi Murad had to be dropped from the national centralised training camp, which starts on Monday (May 27), due to injuries.

Two players, Kedah Darul Aman FC on-loan hitman Syafiq Ahmad and Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) centreback Muhamad Feroz Baharudin, have earned a recall to the national training camp.

The duo are among the eight new players called up by Pan Gon, who has retained 16 of the 24 players from the squad who featured in the two group matches against Oman in March.

Penang FC left-back Muhammad Adib Abdul Ra’op stands a chance to make his international debut after being called to attend the centralised training camp while Nooa Laine, who is of Malaysian-Finnish parentage, is the sole Selangor FC player called up to the training squad.

Meanwhile, FAM confirmed that 22 more players have been placed on standby.

For the record, Mohamad Faisal, better known as Faisal Halim, has been told to take a long break following the fourth-degree burns he suffered on his body after being splashed with acid by an unknown individual at a shopping mall in Petaling Jaya on May 5.

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After four matches, Malaysia, who are in third spot in Group D with six points, will take on Kyrgyzstan at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek on June 6 before wrapping up their group fixtures against Taiwan at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil here on June 11.

Kyrgyzstan lead the standings in Group D with nine points while Oman, also with nine points, are second with an inferior goal difference. The two teams will meet in the final group match on June 11. Taiwan prop up the standings with no points.

The national team must win both their remaining matches and hope for Oman to upset Kyrgyzstan to stand a chance to make history by advancing to the third round of the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers and earning early qualification for the 2027 Asian Cup.

Following is the list of 26 players called up by Pan Gon for the Harimau Malaya centralised training camp from Monday (May 27):

1.

Ahmad Syihan Hazmi Mohamed

JDT

2.

Matthew Davies

JDT

3.

Muhamad Feroz Baharudin

JDT

4.

Shahrul Mohd Saad

JDT

5.

La’vere Lawrence Corbin-ong

JDT

6.

Endrick Dos Santos

JDT

7.

Muhammad Azri Ab Ghani

Kuala Lumpur City FC

8.

Declan Lambert

Kuala Lumpur City FC

9.

Brendan Gan

Kuala Lumpur City FC

10.

Paulo Josue

Kuala Lumpur City FC

11.

Muhammad Haqimi Azim Rosli

Kuala Lumpur City FC

12.

Dominic Tan

Sabah FC

13.

Daniel Ting

Sabah FC

14.

Stuart Wilkin

Sabah FC

15.

Darren Lok

Sabah FC

16.

Muhammad Safawi Rasid

Terengganu FC

17.

Muhammad Akhyar Abdul Rashid

Terengganu FC

18.

Safwan Mazlan

Terengganu FC

19.

Engku Muhammad Nur Shakir Engku Yacob

Terengganu FC

20.

Sikh Izhan Nazrel Sikh Azman

Penang FC

21.

Mohamed Syamer Kutty Abba

Penang FC

22.

Muhammad Adib Abdul Ra’op

Penang FC

23.

Kalamullah Al-hafiz Mat Rowi

Kedah Darul Aman FC

24.

Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad

Kedah Darul Aman FC

25.

Nooa Hamzah Laine

Selangor FC

26.

Dion Cools

Buriram United - BERNAMA