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Thailand ready to end Bukit Jalil jinx

FOOTBALL: Thailand coach Milovan Rajevac is neither worried about the War Elephants’ winless record at Malaysia’s imposing Bukit Jalil Stadium nor is he concerned about his men’s form in away games.

By Bangkok Post

Saturday 1 December 2018, 09:32AM

Thailand coach Milovan Rajevac (left) shakes hands with Malaysia boss Tan Cheng Hoe during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday (Nov 30). Photo: Bangkok Post

Thailand coach Milovan Rajevac (left) shakes hands with Malaysia boss Tan Cheng Hoe during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday (Nov 30). Photo: Bangkok Post

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has already confirmed that all 80,000 tickets for tonight’s (Dec 1) first leg of the semi-final pitting two-time Suzuki Cup defending champions Thailand and 2010 winners Malaysia have been sold out.

The match will kick off at 7:45pm (Thai time) and will be broadcast live on Channel 7.

The second leg at Bangkok's Rajamangala National Stadium is scheduled for Wednesday.

In the other semi-final, the Philippines host Vietnam in Bacolod tomorrow (Dec 2) and the return leg will take place in Hanoi on Thursday (Dec 6).

Rajevac was oozing with confidence at a press conference yesterday (Nov 30) on the eve of first leg of the 2018 Southeast Asian championship semi-final, saying his players can handle pressure at the massive stadium in Kuala Lumpur and win the game.

The Serbian coach said: “I am very happy to be here. The four teams that have qualified for this round are the best teams of Asean. I believe that the atmosphere at the stadium will be full of excitement.”

Thailand have never beaten the Malayan Tigers at their Bukit Jalil Stadium, but Rajevac refused to accept that it means the odds were against a Thai victory in the battle.

“Traditions exist but everybody tries to break these traditions. They are there to be broken and we will try to do that tomorrow,” said Rajevac.

When asked about his team’s lacklustre form away from home, he said: “I am trying to work with my team to have the same standards home and away.

“I don’t think there would be any distraction if you look at the previous match. I am sure my team is capable of delivering a good performance.”

The veteran coach also praised the Malaysian side.

“Malaysian football is evolving – it is going in the right direction. But several other things need to fall into place. They have several good young players but for success, you need a mixture of experienced players and young players who are hungry for success.

“We have studied their style and our main goal is to win this match. If possible, we want to win without conceding a goal. We will try our best because we know this will not be an easy game for us.”

Malaysia coach Tan Cheng Hoe said his team would also try to avoid conceding goals against the Thais but ruled out a defensive approach for the home leg.

“It is important that we must not concede any goals to Thailand team. To have a good result will be the best motivation for our team before playing the second leg in Bangkok,” said Tan.

“We have to go onto the field with good momentum. Everyone knows Thailand have quality and experienced players, so my players need to be composed and remain patient.

“Thailand have a balanced team. Their No.29 [Sanrawat Dechmitr] has the killer pass and is mobile so it’s not easy to contain him but hopefully my players can close him down in midfield.

“It is important that my players play according to the plan and not be afraid of the Thai players.

“It’s not just [striker] Adisak Kraisorn or Sanrawat. Overall, you can see that Thailand have the most balanced squad in the tournament. They are not only potent in attack, but also have very experienced defenders who have commanded the backline very well.

“We will not get a good result if we just defend. We have to attack and also be aware of the opposition’s attacks because they have the quality.”


Read original story here.



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