IF nothing else comes out of Malaysia's campaign in Antwerp, three young Malaysians players have matured to lead the country into Next years New Delhi Junior World Cup.
Meor Azuan, Shahril Saabah and Haziq Shamsul have scored goals as well as showed maturity, and they are just 21 and the right age to lead the Junior Asia Cup in Kuantan in November.
From Kuantan, four teams qualify for the Junior World Cup and the prediction is Malaysia, India, Pakistan and South Korea.
Meor, who scored a crucial goal against France to take Malaysia into the fifth-sixth bracket said: "This is my first international goal with the senior side and Oh! what a feeling is was!
"Ive played in the last Junior World Cup, but the feeling here is so much different and challenging. And it was a big relief for me to have finally helped the team by scoring against France," said Meor.
Meor, 21, scored the second goal to give Malaysia the lead, after his junior team-mate Haziq Shamsul scored the equalsier.
France had taken the lead, but the two Junior World Cup players delivered for Malaysia before seniors Faizal Shaari and Razie Rahim made it look like an easy 4-1 win.
It was Haziq's third goal of the tournament: "I'm just happy I could help Malaysia reach a playoff stage where we have a chance to the Olympics," said Haziq.
And of Malaysia do beat Ireland today and make the trip to Rio de Janeiro next year, Meor, Haziq and Shahril Saabah will be on that plane.
As for Ireland Malaysia have a good record, but records don't matter at this level.
Malaysia beat Ireland in the last two encounter -- 4-2 in the Champions Challenge in Kuantan and again 4-2 in Group B in Antwerp -- and will have to bring out their best again today.
Ireland beat Pakistan 1-0 for the first time in their history of 10 encounters, to deny them the Olympics for the first time ever.
"We will give our very best again, and I personally have a good feeling that we can beat Ireland and finish fifth here. All of us badly want to play in the Olympics, but almost missed the boat when we lost to India. We are not about to give uo our second chance though," said lanky defender Baljit Singh who stopped France during penalty corners with his kamikaze runs.
Malaysia might need to break a few bones, and receive a few cuts today to beat the Irish -- but it would be worth the ticket to Rio de Janeiro, and the tag 'Olympian' for the rest of their lives.
SUNDAY: Final: Australia v Belgium (12 midnight); third-fourth: India v Britain (9.30pm); fifth-sixth: Malaysia v Ireland (7pm); seventh-eighth: Pakistan v France (5.30pm).