KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 – The “killer” long balls, a disjointed defense, lack of teamwork and more importantly lack of communication – all these were lacking on the field as Malaysia crumbled to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Jordan in a Tier 1 international friendly at the King Abdullah II Stadium in Amman on Wednesday.
Topping it all, Malaysia was already under pressure even before the Harimau Malaya took off from the KLIA in the wee hours without new callup Mohd Shahrul Nizam Ros Hasni. Terengganu FC’s Kelantan-born defender failed to report. He was instead, happily fishing in the South China Sea.
More was to come when the team reached Amman. Heritage player Dion Cools, also cried off citing injury and was under rehabilitation although he featured in a match for his Danish club FC Midtjylland. He later revealed that ”playing time” late in the match was part of his rehabilitation process.
To add fuel to the situation team manager Datuk Yusoff Mahadi came out with a statement saying that naturalised Malaysian Guilherme de Paula “must score in a every match” but the Brazilian failed to score against Jordan.
Isn’t this putting pressure on the player and the rest of the team. This coming from the team manager who hardly speaks of the team, except to make uncalled statements to seek cheap publicity?
Remember that Yusoff, who is also the deputy president of the FA of Malaysia, requested that no action be taken against Shahrul for his disappearing act and was not contactable because he had switched off his mobile phone.
Terengganu FC manager Zulfadli Rozi requested the same for the player who is a former national Under-23. Where is national pride and where is their respect for the Jalur Gemilang?
Now, a lot has been said – both in the print and electronic media and not forgetting the social media – about the defeat to the 93rd ranked Jordan.
The players reported at the FAM just hours after playing in the Malaysia Cup matches for their respective clubs on Sept 30. Some were meeting for the first time. You don’t expect to gel into coach Tan Cheng Hoe’s system in a day or two.
The 4-0 defeat sums up the pathetic display by the team with Jordan two goals in the each half. All four goals were a “gift” on a silver platter from Malaysia for the Arab nation.
Ali Ohwan, who plays for Al-Jazeera, helped himself to a grand hattrick with strikes on the 34th, 47th and 49th minutes. Skipper Odai Al-Saify got the second goal for Jordan and this was on 42 minutes.
Odai scored with a yawning goal in front of him after goalkeeper Khairulazhan Khalid and center back and skipper Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak clattered into each other due to lack of communication and were left stranded on the top of the box.
Odai’s goal needed only three touches from the Jordan goalkeeper’s goal kick which was headed on by a midfielder for Odai to gleefully make it look so simple.
Malaysia’s plays Uzbekistan (ranked 84) at the Amman International Stadium on Saturday before returning home.