International Watch: Zhafri Makes The Cut, Gets Into Kim Pang Gon’s Squad

Posted at 02:30h in THE VOICE OF CITY BOYS 


The City Boys’ Zhafri, came closer to making his dreams of representing the country come true when he was greeted with music to his ears, following the Football Association of Malaysia’s announcement of the final squad of 25  players who will be going to the 2022 Tri-Nations Series organised by the Football Association of Singapore, from March 23-26, 2022 in the city state.


The good news was delivered through their website last Monday, saw no surprises, as Johor DT continue to dominate the list (as in the past) by the new national team head coach Kim Pang Gon, with 11 players while Negeri Sembilan, PJ City and Selangor, have 2 players each. Kedah, Pahang, Sabah, Terengganu and KL City, contribute with 1 player only. Overseas-based players rounded up the 25 for this trip which will see the Harimau Malaya involved in 3 matches, with the first two matches related to the tourney while the third is a friendly match against Japanese side Albirex Niigata, who compete in the Singapore Premier League on Monday, Match 28, 2022. 


The Harimau Malaya open the series on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, at the National Stadium against the Philippines, and 3 days later they play the hosts at the same venue.


This will be the first national team assignment since Kim Pang Gon arrived about a month back to take over the reins from Tan Cheng Hoe who resigned in the aftermath of severe criticism levied towards him and his team following the national team’s poor performance during the Asean Football Federation’s (AFF) Suzuki Cup tournament last December in Singapore, where they failed to qualify for the semi-finals, finishing third in their group which contained eventual finalists Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. They registered two wins and two losses, their victories coming against Cambodia and Laos, before falling to heavy defeats against  Vietnam and Indonesia 


With Zhafri’s selection, there will be two City Boys hitting the Lion City, after Mendoza was also picked by the Filipinos, two days ago.


The Tri-Nations Series has been organised as part of preparations for the third round of the 2023 Asia Cup qualifying games coming up in June 2022. Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines are out of the race for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but they are still competing for a place in next year’s continental showpiece in China