KAZAN (Russia), July 3 (Bernama) -- The Harimau Muda A squad is optimistic about giving Italy a stiff competition at the Group C opening match of the Universiade 2013 here on Friday.
Although he acknowledged that their opponents were from a country passionate about football, national coach Ong Kim Swee urged all his 17 players to fully focus on every single game.
Malaysia is in the group with Italy, United Kingdom and Algeria.
"Our players must focus on each game. And I hope we don't experience any injuries," he said at the Rubin Stadium here today.
He added that midfielder Wan Amirzafran Nadriz was unable to play on Friday as he was still recovering from an injury.
After Italy, Malaysia will face United Kingdom on Monday and Algeria next Wednesday.
The squad has a line-up of 14 Harimau Muda A players, two players from the Armed Forces and Sime Darby respectively, namely K. Reuben and K. Prabakaran, and Nazirul Naim Che Hashim from Japanese club FC Ryukyu.
NS NAK DC PA