Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Malaysia flex their muscles

MALAYSIA enjoyed a good warm-up for today's AirAsia Asia Cup Group A battle with Japan by routing Bangladesh 7-1 in Kuantan yesterday.

Victory was easily achieved but Japan won't be as easy though all Malaysia need is a draw to secure their semi-final place.

Historically, Malaysia have never had it easy against Japan and the scenario is not expected to change in this crucial match.

Japan, after their 3-2 defeat to South Korea yesterday, need a win to make the last four and they can be expected to come out charging against Malaysia.

Malaysia coach Tai Beng Hai said he is expecting a tough match against the Japan side.
"They are a very disciplined side and based on ranking, we will start as underdogs in this match. Though we only need a draw, it will be wrong to play for it as it could backfire," said Beng Hai in Kuantan yesterday.

"We are going for a win tomorrow (today). The match today (yesterday) was a good warm-up and we managed to get the goals we wanted."

The Malaysians, after scoring seven goals in the opening 50 minutes, played at a lower gear after that to conserve energy for the Japan clash.

"I instructed my players to slow down their game as I did not want them to tire themselves.

"Overall, all of my players did well and I'm especially happy with the performance of Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin (Tengku Jalil) and Engku Malek Engku Mohd, who have just recovered from injuries."

Malaysia started aggressively and it took them only four minutes to open accounts through Mohd Shahrun Nabil's reverse stick attempt from the top of the D.

Azlan Misron added the second with a well taken field goal in the 13th minute before Chua Boon Huat followed up with a third, two minutes later.

The Malaysians were in full control and it was just a matter of time before they added more goals. Amin Rahim then increased the goal count with his trademark penalty corner flick in the 19th minute.

In the second half, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, who did not play against South Korea on Saturday, added two quick goals in the 39th and 43rd minutes.

Ismail Abu completed the rout in the 50th minute.

Bangladesh replied through Islam Zahidul, off a penalty corner setpiece, in the 28th minute, for his team's first international goal in a Class A match in two years.

No comments: