Honda skids as Malaysia win 3-1 in Cambodia

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The national football team ran out 3-1 winners over Cambodia to redeem some pride for Malaysia in an international “A” friendly at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh on Monday.
The win came in the wake of a 2-0 defeat to Chinese Taipei in Taipei last Friday in Malaysia’s two-match friendly tour as part of the preparations for the AFF Suzuki Cup in November.
It was certainly a bad start for Cambodia’s Japanese World Cupper Keisuke Honda as coach although the Cambodians showed much promise at the start of the match and even grabbed a 17th-minute lead.
It was a gem of a goal by Soeuy Visal whose volley hit the underside of the bar before Malaysian custodian Khairul Fahmi Che Mat could react after Malaysian defenders failed to clear a Thierry Chantha Bin freekick.
Khairul, however, came back strong to make some crucial saves on a night the match was delayed for 30 minutes due to heavy rain and the artificial turf made play difficult on a “soggy” pitch.
Malaysia struggled in the early stages but coach Tan Cheng Hoe made three changes in the 58th minute by bringing on Shahrel Fikri, Amirul Azhan, and Fazly Manan.
Shahrel, who plays for Thai club Nakhon Ratchasima, was an inspiration to the team and he had a hand in Malaysia’s equalizer by Shahrul Saad on 62 minutes and Syazwan Andik’s second for Malaysia in the 74th minute.
To round up his contribution to the team Shahrel got his name into the scoresheet two minutes into added time with a stiff shot from inside the box.
In the AFF Suzuki Cup, the Malaysians are drawn in Group A together with Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Malaysia also has lined up several other friendly matches. including Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan and Maldives. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH
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