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Ong urged his U22 side to woo him in China tour opener

Goal.com logo Goal.com 10-06-2017

Malaysia Under-22 side takes on China U-22 in the first match of their China tour as Datuk Ong Kim Swee opens his account in his second stint with the juniors.

In the pre-match press conference held on Friday, Ong stressed the importance of the match as his team gears up towards the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers in Bangkok next month.

"First of all, it'll be a very important game for us. We are preparing for the AFC qualifier and I'm sure China too - as they are the host for the finals next year."

"We've trained in the past 10 days in Malaysia before this game. We've played China U23 in Dubai where the score was 1-1. After that there were changes in the team where I only took over the team and I hope we can use this opportunity to improve every aspect," said Ong.

There has been changes made to the squad since Ong took over from Frank Bernhardt - enforced or otherwise. The absence of Perak's Ahmad Khairil Anuar due to injury means that Ong would not be able to field his best U22 side.

However the likes of Negeri Sembilan's duo of Sean Eugene and L. Kalaiharasan are among the newer players who have impressed Ong since centralised training started and they could earn their place in the squad during this China tour.

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Given that this will be his first official match in charge of the team, Ong will finally get to evaluate the players and the former senior team head coach is adamant that performance takes similar priority with the results for this tour, as he gauge his options for the future.

"I believe most important is to play with our strengths. This is our second game with China. They are a very good team and to play China in China will be very tough for us."

"I believe our boys will give their commitment and hopefully we'll achieve a good result. But not only a good result but also a good performance from the team," added Ong.

The match against China will be played on Saturday 10 June at 7pm at the Xiangtan Sports Centre Stadium.

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