PETALING JAYA: The recent trip to Oman has struck a chord with national coach Dollah Salleh.
The former international said it was a memorable outing when he made his maiden trip to the Omani Sultanate 22 years ago. Then, he had scored the winner for the national team (1-0) against Oman in a friendly game.
It was a total contrast when the national team under Dollah were humiliated 6-0 by the Oman side in a friendly at the Al-Seeb Stadium on Thursday.
“Imagine how times have changed,” said Dollah upon returning on Friday.
Oman ranked 96th gave Malaysia football lesson in the one-sided match with a brace each from Yaqoob Abdulkarim (15th, 50th), Abdulaziz Al-Muqbali (40th pen, 67th) and a goal each from Said Qasim (47th) and a Mohsin Johar (88th) penalty.
The Malaysians, ranked 153, were totally outclassed. The attacking line by Norsharul Idlan Talaha and Mohd Amri Yahyah barely tested Wigan Athletic’s English Football League Championship goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi throughout the game.
A disappointed Dollah apologised to the fans for the humiliating defeat and offered no excuses for the dismal outing after touching down with the team at the KLIA in Sepang.
“It’s my mistake ... we should have been better prepared to face a higher level opposition like Oman. It is a good lesson for me and I assure that we will not repeat the same mistake,” he said.
Dollah said he will bring it up to the national team management committee that in future they would require a longer time to prepare for an international match.
“We need at least two weeks to prepare the team for an international assignment. I also need to put them in a warm-up match before the real test. It is impossible to get them ready after assembling the team in just two or three days.
“I admit we are not ready for high level matches but we could have done much better against this Oman team. I expected them to put up a fight but this was totally a one-sided affair. We looked like small kids being bullied,” said Dollah.
Malaysia are preparing for the qualifying rounds for the World Cup in June. They are scheduled to play visiting English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur next in May.
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