Malaysia
Tournament record:
Champions in 2010; runners-up in 1996, 2014

Nickname:
Harimau Malaysia (Malaysian Tigers)

National coach:
Ong Kim Swee (Malaysia)

Although a second AFF Suzuki Cup title eluded them, 2010 champions Malaysia experienced a number of highs during the campaign two years ago.

Two injury-time goals saw them beat arch-rivals and group hosts Singapore 3-1 in their final group game, a win that saw them progress to a semi-final against Vietnam at the expense of the four-time winners.

Trailing 2-1 from the home leg, Malaysia produced arguably the performance of the tournament to beat Vietnam 4-2 (5-4 on aggregate) before a stunned crowd at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi.

Then in the final, they gave eventual winners Thailand an almighty shock in the second leg at Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. Having lost the first leg 2-0, they were all but written off only to race into a 3-0 lead after 58 minutes following a double from the excellent Safiq Rahim and a strike by Indra Putra Mahayuddin.

They were undone by two late goals but were by no means outshone on the night to lose 4-3 on aggregate.

Midfielder Safiq, who ended the tournament as top scorer, and forwards Safee Sali and Norshahrul Idlan Talaha - all veterans of the 2010 winning side - contributed hugely to Malaysia’s successful run to the final as coach Dollah Salleh stuck by the tried and tested, both in personnel and playing style.

Malaysia, though, failed to kick on from their runner-up finish and a series of dismal results in the 2018 FIFA World Cup/ 2019 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers resulted in the resignation of Dollah.

The highly regarded Ong Kim Swee, like his predecessor a former international, will guide Malaysia at the AFF Suzuki Cup 2016.

A successful youth coach, Ong’s priorities on taking charge were building team spirit and identifying players who can cope with the intensity of international football.

He hopes that the AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 will be a major step on the path to reviving the fortunes of the former champions.
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