Football

Published: Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 7:41:00 PM
Updated: Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 10:59:34 PM

Malaysia football team go home with nothing (updated)

Singapore football team captain Hariss Harun (left) reels away in delight after scoring against Malaysia in the SEA Games bronze playoff match. Singapore won 2-1.

Singapore football team captain Hariss Harun (left) reels away in delight after scoring against Malaysia in the SEA Games bronze playoff match. Singapore won 2-1.

NAYPYITAW: Two years ago, they won the mother of all gold medals. This time, the national Under-23 football team couldn’t even finish among the medals after losing 2-1 to Singapore in the bronze medal playoff at the Zeyar Thiri Stadium in Naypyitaw here on Saturday.

Two quick goals from skipper Hariss Harun in the 13th and 15th minutes gave the Lions a comfortable lead. Although A. Thamil Arasu’s goal in the 68th gave Malaysia a glimpse of hope, it just wasn’t enough in the end.

The Malaysians looked sharper in the first 10 minutes but a two-minute lapse of concentration led to their downfall.

Goalkeeper Izham Tarmizi Roslan dropped a corner kick and Hariss was the quickest to pounce on the loose ball. Even before they could regroup, centreback Shahrul Saad’s mistake enabled Sahil Suhaimi to deliver an inviting cross for Hariss to stab into goal.

Team coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee admitted that the two mistakes took the wind out of their sails and “we couldn’t make a comeback”.

“Two minutes of carelessness killed us ... Izham fumbled and our defensive mistake cost us the game,” said Kim Swee.

“The players were too eager to win this match and get the goals. We tried to make a comeback and managed to close the gap with Thamil’s goal but it just wasn’t enough.

“We didn’t achieve what we wanted here. Everybody ... the team ... the nation ... are disappointed with the result. We will have to come up with a solution to improve.”

Singapore coach Aide Iskandar said his side took their chances well and deserved the win.

“We took our chances well for the lead. We know Malaysia will come back and I salute my defence for a good showing,” said Aide.

“It looked like the final although it was just the bronze medal play-off ... we got the result we wanted and I’m happy with my team’s performance.”

Tags / Keywords: SEA Games, Naypyitaw, Myanmar, football, Malaysia, Singapore

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