KUALA LUMPUR – Harimau Malaya (national squad) coach Dollah Salleh (pic) needs to revamp the defence line up in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2014 semi-final second leg match against Vietnam at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi this Thursday, said former local football great Bakri Ibni.
Bakri, who was a household name in the 70s, said he saw the first leg match played at the Shah Alam Stadium on Sunday which Malaysia lost 1-2.
“I noticed the defenders were often leaving their positions to help the midfield so much so only two defenders had to guard the Malaysian goal.
“This allowed Vietnam to mount quick and effective counter-attacks. I hope Dollah will plug the defence because Vietnam have hard running players,” said Bakri, who is also a former Perlis player.
He told this to reporters when met at the launching of the second edition of the 1Malaysia Cup Under-19 (U-19) football tournament here Tuesday.
Bakri along with former national football icons Datuk Santokh Singh, Datuk Peter Velappan and Datuk Soh Chin Aun are ambassadors of the tournament.
Echoeing Bakri’s views was Velappan, who is also a former Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Assistant Secretary-General.
He urged Dollah to tighten the defence saying it is important to contain Vietnam’s ferocious attacks led by Nguyen Van Quyet.
“I can say that Vietnam’s style of play is like (2014 Fifa World Cup winner) Germany where they cut the opponent’s (backline) into pieces as what they have shown in the first-leg, so Dollah must find the best ways to cope with this situation,” said Velappan, who is also a former Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Secretary-General. – Bernama