Wednesday, October 2, 2013
The Gladiators star striker is positive about his side’s chances of reaching the semi-final of the Malaysia Cup despite losing the first leg 1-0
Despite losing the first leg of their quarter-final 1-0 against league champions LionsXII, ATM FA forward Marlon James believes his side has what it takes to reach the semi-finals of the Malaysia Cup.
James, who was the top scorer in this season’s Malaysia Super League with 16 goals, barely had a sniff on goal against his opponents at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night. But the giant target-man is optimistic about his side’s chances of progressing.
“We have to be positive as we are playing at home,” he said after the game.
“If we want to get to the semi-final we have to score two goals. But we’re feeling positive as other than the goal [conceded], we are pleased with the performance today.”
The 36-year-old did feel that they should not have conceded the way that they did, which was via a corner, but was pleased at how they managed to keep the LionsXII players at bay.
“We came here with a game plan and we knew we had to keep very focused on their set-pieces,” Marlon explained.
“That was probably the only disappointment [conceding the goal]. We made better opportunities and we had some chances that we should’ve taken.
“But overall we were happy [with the performance], especially in the second half as we didn’t let them in behind much."
Looking forward to the second leg, the Saint Vincent and the Grenandines player is confident that it will be a totally different affair.
Malaysia Under-16 thrashed Guam to finish top of their group, bringing them to the AFC championships finals for the third time
A 13-0 victory over Guam on Sunday secured a place in the 2014 AFC Under-16 championship finals for Malaysia.
In the last qualifying game in Group H, Muhammad Najmuddin Samat, Najib Abdullah and Abang Nur-firman Abang Norazman scored a hat-trick each, while Ahmad Firdaus Ismail netted a brace along with with M. Kogilaswaran and Muhammad Shahrul Adnan who got a goal apiece.
With the win, the Young Tigers have booked a place in the U16 finals in Bangkok, Thailand after an unbeaten run in the qualifiers in Laos.
They first drew 1-1 against the hosts before getting a hat-trick of victories over Brunei Darussalam (8-0), South Korea (2-0) and finally Guam (13-0).
In the last group match at the National Sports Complex Stadium in Vientiene, S. Balachandran’s charges whipped Guam 13-0 to top the group standing with 10 points after four matches.
Previously, the Malaysia U16 have made it to the finals in 2004 in Japan and in Uzbekistan four years later, but they have never progressed beyond the group stages.
With Malaysia, other group winners Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Oman, Australia, DPR Korea and Japan have also qualified for the finals in Thailand, who as hosts, qualify automatically.