PETALING JAYA: Dollah Salleh can finally heave a huge sigh of relief after gaining his first victory as the national coach in his third attempt.
Following defeats to Kyrgyzstan and Indonesia in his first two friendlies, the former international led world No. 154 Malaysia to a 4-1 victory over 199th-ranked Cambodia in a friendly at the Shah Alam Stadium on Saturday.
A brace from Joseph Kallang Tie, a Moul Daravorn own goal and a strike by substitute Baddrol Bakhtiar gave the hosts a comfortable win.
The Malaysians were quick off the block and forced four corners in quick succession in the opening five minutes. And they did not have to wait long to open the scoring, courtesy of midfielder Joseph in the eighth minute.
The Sarawak skipper dispossessed Cambodian defender Sok Sovan on the edge of the box and slotted home past the outrushing Sou Yaty.
Malaysia’s second goal in the 15th minute had a touch of good luck.
Striker Abdul Manaf Mamat’s stiff shot was parried by Yaty back into the danger area. The ball ricocheted off the unfortunate Moul Daravorn’s knee and into his own goal.
Cambodia coach Lee Tae-hoon threw the lively striker Sok Chanrasmey into the fray for the second half, and the change invigorated the visitors.
Still, it was Malaysia who got their third goal in the 65th minute, with Joseph latching onto a through ball from Bobby Gonzales before applying a cool finish.
Chamrasmey picked up a fumble by goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat in the 71st minute, but defender Ronny Harun made a vital goal-line block.
But there was no stopping the Cambodian forward nine minutes later when he sprung the Malaysian offside trap to score.
Substitute Baddrol restored Malaysia’s three-goal advantage with a powerful strike from outside the box two minutes later.