BURIRAM – North Korean coach Jorn Andersen has warned Malaysia not to look too much into the 0-5 drubbing by Lebanon in their Asian Cup Qualifier encounter in October and to be prepared for a tough match tomorrow.
The Norway-born coach said the defeat was due to his players having a bad game and they were confident the humiliation would not be repeated when they face Malaysia tomorrow and next Monday.
“The 0-5 defeat to Lebanon was because the players had a bad match, but we have been preparing for the match against Malaysia for three times (due to postponement) and we will get the desired result,” he said at a pre-match press conference at the i-mobile Stadium, here, today.
He said due to the long period of postponement, the team had been spending a considerable amount of time training, watching videos on games involving Malaysia and studying their tactics to prepare for the match.
Andersen believes that come tomorrow, his players will be ready for the game.
His player Kim Yu-song, who was also at the press conference, echoed his coach’s assessment of tomorrow’s match, saying the North Korean players were ready for the important qualification match against Malaysia.
After being postponed three times since late March, the Asian Cup Qualifier match between Malaysia and North Korea will take place over two legs, tomorrow and next Monday, at the stadium, located more than 300 km northeast of Bangkok.
The two matches had been postponed due to souring diplomatic relations between Malaysia and North Korea following the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at KL International Airport 2 (klia2) in February.
The postponements were also due to tensions in the Korean Peninsula after Pyongyang launched ballistic missiles.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s coach Nelo Vingada said it would be a mistake to take North Korea’s challenge lightly just because the team suffered a blip, the 0-5 humiliation against Lebanon in their qualifier last month.
The North Korean team, according to him, are undoubtedly a good team with their ranking higher than Malaysia
“It will be a hard match for us. They have several players who are based in Europe and Japan but football is a team sport. We have prepared ourselves and we want a win tomorrow and will work hard to ensure luck is on our side,” he said.
Malaysia, he said, had been playing good and the unfavourable results in the qualifier did not portray the true picture of the team’s capabilities, adding that the difference between Malaysia and other teams had narrowed.
The Portuguese coach also said that the short training period his players had prior to tomorrow’s match would not have any bearing on their performance against the North Koreans and believed they were motivated to score a good result.
Currently, Malaysia sit last in the group with a single point, while North Korea are placed above them. Group champion Lebanon have qualified for the Asian Cup. – BERNAMA