He was supposed to pass the ball back to his goalkeeper. But he misjudged the situation and the ball landed right in front of his opponent who whipped it into an unguarded goal post.
With that, Kedah earned a 2-1 over Negri Sembilan in the finals of the 66th Annual Malaysian Chinese Football Association (MCFA) Inter State competition. It would be Kedah’s first win after 18 years in the competition.
Filled with drama and emotion, the start of the game saw Negri’s Oscar Lim stretchered off the field with a knee injury.
In the second half, the game got a bit tense as Kedah player Tan Yang Wei lost his composure over a disagreement with the referee’s decision.
The unbridled joy of the Kedah squad as they lift the cup during the trophy presentation.
Disgruntled, Tan expressed his displeasure by kicking the ball off field. It hit the supporting pole of the linesman’s tent and rebounded off the ground with a forceful thud.
Tan’s antics not only elicited disapproval from the spectators, it prompted MCFA secretary Edwin Tang to remark that Tan should be cautioned for his actions.
At the end of an intense battle, Kedah defender Lew Han Hung, who scored the winning goal for his team, was seen weeping tears of joy and relief on a fan’s shoulder.
Asked about his outburst, Tan, who was awarded the Top Scorer for the tournament, said, “That’s football”.
Lew, who was voted Most Valuable Player, stood by Tan’s side.
Kedah’s win is surely a feather in the cap for coach Ooi Hoe Guan, a former national player.
During a pre-game interview, Ooi, admitted as this was his first time with this team he had yet to put a strategy into place.
Negri Sembilan goalkeeper Wong Kah Seng making an excellent save during the finals.
“I only told my players they must have respect, mental strength, fighting spirit and teamwork. If they have all this, we will win,” said Ooi.
When Kedah emerged victorious, an obviously overjoyed Ooi diplomatically said most important was his players enjoyed the game.
From a spectator’s perspective, Martin Tan said the downhill spiral for Negri Sembilan started after Lim’s withdrawal. He also suspected the semi finals with Selangor just two days ago had taken its toll on the players. But what killed it for Negri Sembilan was a penalty kick at the last 10 minutes, which gave Kedah its second goal.
It was also suspected that Negri Sembilan had least expected to face Kedah as an opponent at the finals.
Looking at past records, neither football club from the different states had played each other in the last three years.
Summing up this year’s inter-state match, MCFA treasurer Peter Lim said unlike the previous games, this one would see a selection of 30 players to be chosen for centralised training.
The motive behind this move is to prepare a team for fielding in the FAM league.
Malaysian Chinese Football Association committee strongmen (from left) Tang, president Datuk Jeffrey Lau, deputy president Datuk Jimmy Hoo and treasurer Peter Lim.
Lim said the selection process would be based on recommendations by team coaches, who will be called to give an assessment of the opposing team’s players.
FAM deputy president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal who was there to watch the game, described the association’s plan to nurture young talent as a timely move, following the success of the Malaysian Indian Football Association (MIFA) in fielding a team in the FAM league in 2014.
Former Malaysia players in a group shot after a friendly game before the start of the final match at the Malaysian Chinese Football Association Inter State competition. Datuk Soh Chin Aun is fourth from right in the last row.