Again it was an individual mistake that left national football coach Tan Cheng Hoe a disappointed man as Vietnam snatched a 1-0 win to lift their second AFF Suzuki Cup title after a decade.
In the second leg final played at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi on Saturday the Golden Dragons rode on a sixth minute goal through Ngueyn Anh Duc to win the Asean region’s premier football title on a 3-2 aggregate.
The first leg played at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur last Tuesday ended in a 2-2 draw.
Despite the disappointment said: “Our players played super well (My Dinh Stadium) but again it was an individual mistake that proved to be costly.
“Still I am proud of the team. It was an amazing journey for us in this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup. However, our super best was not good enough.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is currently in Bangkok on an official visit, also had good words for the team despite the defeat.
“Our players played well but luck was not on our side. I hope they are not disappointed but instead use the defeat as a lesson and experience to better themselves in the coming future,” said Tun Dr Mahathir who watched the match live at the hotel where he and the Malaysian delegation is staying in Bangkok.
Malaysia were also reduced to 10 players deep in injury time when defender Shahrul Saad was given the sack for a second booking in the match. The Iranian referee also made 10 bookings in a physical match. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH