Encouraging win for Harimau Malaya

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Malaysia defeated Nepal 2-0 in an A international friendly match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday – a timely boost for the Harimau Malaya before they play Timor Leste in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Timor Leste on June 7 and 11.
 
Both these matches which will also serve as the qualifiers for the 2023 Asian Cup, will also be played at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
 
On a wet and slippery pitch, the Malaysians scored twice in the second half after a scoreless first half with poor finishing once against standing out like a sore thumb against the Nepalese who are ranked 161 against the Malaysians who are ranked 167.
 
“It was a good win but there were loopholes overall…but this is expected when the team was assembled last week. The players need to gel and get into the rhythm.
 
“We played well but only in patches. Nevertheless, it is an encouraging win for the team before we play Timor Leste at the same venue. The first half saw us control and had a major share of possession but failed to score,” said Cheng Hoe.
 
Malaysia would have taken an early lead by Syazwan Zainon right-footed attempt came off the left post. At the other end, Malaysia’s Nor Azam Azih nearly scored an own goal while attempting to clear the ball after keeper Farizal Marlias’ wild clearance.
 
Substitute Akhyar Rashid finally got Malaysia into the flow when he earned a penalty when he was felled by Nepal defender Ananta Tamang.  Safawi Rasid made no mistake from the spot with his gifted left foot when he sent goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu the wrong way.  Malaysia 1-0.
 
Defender Shahrul Saad got Malaysia’s second goal on 82 minutes. He quietly sneaked into position in the box to plant a glancing header that left Kiran rooted off Nor Azam’s well-executed free kick. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH
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