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Malaysia eager to create history

After winning the AFF-Suzuki Cup late last year, the national team wants to create a bigger history when they play Chinese-Taipei in the Asian Zone World Cup Qualifiers at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tonight (29/06/11).

Chief Coach Datuk K. Rajagobal players are eager and excited to start their campaign on a positive note in the first round first leg match. The second leg will be in Chinese Taipei on July 3.

“This is our first tournament after winning the AFF Cup and while we are grateful for the praise we have received, we want to move forward and we believe we can do well and the players are all eager and excited to create a bigger history,” said Datuk Rajagobal, who name a formidable 23-man squad for the match tonight.

"We want to beat Taiwan. The score does not matter. We want to win. My players are mentally and physically prepared for the match."

Except for first choice goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, the others are injury-free. Khairul, who is down with a shoulder problem, may not be named in the starting line-up.

The Kelantan player has kept his training light since reporting for national duty after the second round, second leg of the Olympic Qualifiers against Lebanon last Thursday. Sharbinee Allawee is expected to replace Khairul today.

Datuk Rajagobal had some good news when strikers Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Ahmad Fakri Saraani and Abdul Hadi Yahya rejoined training after recovering from injuries.

Baddrol Baktiar.

Safee Sali and Baddrol Baktiar will head the strike-force. Safee, AFF Cup top-scorer, has been outstanding since joining Indonesia Super League club Pelita Jaya, where he has scored seven goals in 13 appearances. However, he sustained a light leg injury in training Tuesday.

Malaysia has never qualified for the World Cup.

Meanwhile, captain Safiq Rahim said he and his teammates are hungry for success in the World Cup Qualifiers.