AZAM Azmi Murad is usually known for his marauding runs on the flanks, but against Vietnam, he was a tireless midfielder.
For 120 minutes, the 21-year-old Terengganu player was a Duracell Bunny as he pressed, ran and challenged every single Vietnam player, but Malaysia still fell 0-1 to the home side in the semi-final at the Viet Tri Stadium in Phu To on Wednesday.
It was bitterly disappointing for Azam to lose in extra-time but he now has to overcome the disappointment by beating Indonesia in the bronze medal playoff tomorrow.
“I honestly have no words to say about the defeat. It was a 50-50 game throughout the game. We did our best and all of us gave 100%,” he said.
“I last played as a midfielder three years ago. I didn’t feel awkward switching from rightback to midfield.
“Against Vietnam, I was not the only one to work tirelessly. Every single one went all out, even if it drained us. It was fated that Vietnam would win.
“They did not score from open play. It was a setpiece that took us down. It was a painful performance, but we have to accept the result.
“The Vietnam fans were brilliant. They did not jeer us or anything. When we entered the field and left, they clapped. It showed that they respected us.
“After the pain against Vietnam, the only medicine is the bronze medal. I don’t want to leave Hanoi empty-handed.”
Azam said he is again ready to play in any outfield position, although he is essentially a wingback. The last time he played as a midfielder was in the Terengganu youth team when he was 18.
Asked about his limitless stamina, Azam said he can go on running and running.
“Everyday, I have three eggs in the morning and I sleep for eight hours.
“That’s the secret to my stamina,” said the player who idolises Liver-pool wingback Trent Alexander-Arnold.
He will need all that stamina against Indonesia. And victory will give the team some momentum before the AFC Under-23 Asian Cup next month in Uzbekistan.