SHAH ALAM – Malaysia must beat Japan in their final Group I match of the 2016 AFC Cup Under-23 Qualifier to have any chance of going to Qatar among the top 15 teams.
Though Malaysia cannot qualify as the winner of Group I, there is an opportunity to make it as the top best placed five teams from the 10 groups competing in the Qualifier.
The top teams from the 10 groups automatically go to Qatar for the final while the best placed five teams from the 10 groups will join them in Qatar.
In yesterday’s match, Japan booked their ticket to Qatar after beating Vietnam 1-0 while Malaysia who lost 1-2 to Vietnam yesterday, beat Macau to remain in contention, provided they (Malaysia) beat Japan in their final Group I match.
Japan had also beaten Macau 7-0.
On the last match against Malaysia on Tuesday, Japan coach Makoto Teguramori said he would not underestimate Razip Ismail boys’ and urged his young side to not take the match for granted although they have already booked a ticket to Qatar.
“Malaysia also have an advantage since they are playing at home. For sure, they will try to win the match. For us, we will try our best and hopefully, the boys will keep the winning momentum,” he added.
Malaysia must beat Japan in the final preliminary match and hope Vietnam lose or draw their match against Macau to have any chance of qualifying for the final round in Qatar.