KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 – Malaysia gave a far better performance in their Tier I international friendly against Bahrain at the Bahrain International Stadium in Riffa on Friday, but it ended in a heartbreaking 2-0 defeat for the Harimau Malaya due to individual mistakes.
To add salt to injury, Malaysia picked up a red card in an off-the-field incident. And it has not been confirmed if it is Safawi Rasid or Liridon Krasniqi who got the sack.
Both picked up a booking earlier in the match and were subsequently substituted.
Malaysia fared far better against Bahrain, ranked 98 after the 4-1 defeat to Kuwait in another friendly which was played in Dubai.
The Malaysians conceded the first goal in the 41st minute when Irfan Zakaria felled Mahdi Abduljabbar inside the box.
Mahdi picked himself and made no mistake with his spot-kick- sending goalkeeper Farizal Marlias the wrong way.
And it was Farizal in the limelight again when Bahrain scored their second goal just after the hour mark. Farizal blundered when he could not trap Krasniqi’s back pass and lost his balance.
This allowed substitute Jassim Marhoon to gleefully finish off the opportunity that came his way – firing home into the far corner of the empty goal.
In all fairness, Malaysia gave glimpses of their brand of football with short passes and build ups from the flanks.
Let us hope that it will give the team hopes of a better when the second round qualifying round matches in Group G for the World Cup 2022/Asia Cup 2023 get underway in Dubai next month.
(*Pic credit to FAM Media)

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