It rained goals again at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil as scored another thumping win over Timor Leste in the return-leg World Cup/Asia Cup 2023 qualifier on Tuesday with a 5-1 win to advance to the next stage 12-2 on aggregate.
The win was expected in the wake of the massive 7-1 win in the first-leg at the same venue last Tuesday (June 7) but it once again exposed weaknesses that need to be ironed out by coach Tan Cheng Hoe.
The draw for the next stage will be conducted in Doha, Qatar on July 17. Cheng Hoe will need to plug the shortcomings before the next stage of the qualifiers kickoff in September.
“We need to be focused every minute of the match. I must admit that we still need to improve further and the two goals we conceded is a cause for concern,” said Cheng Hoe after the match.
Hero of the night for Malaysia was striker Shhrl Fikri who plundered a hat-trick but he also muffed a penalty. He struck on 11 minutes for his opening goal and headed home a corner by Syazwan Andik (17th) and got his third in the 64th minute when he drilled home a low shot past Aderito Fernandes.
Naturalized Malaysian, Gambian-born Mohamadou Sumareh also got his name into the scoresheet on 37 minutes with an unstoppable shot while Akhyar Rashid got the fourth for Malaysia in the 55th minute.
Timor Leste’s consolation goal was scored by Rufino Gama who beat Ifwat Akmal with a header which took a bounce before hitting the back of the net.
Cheng Hoe made several changes to the team to give the reserves including first-choice goalkeeper Farizal Marlias and defender Corbin Ong. RIZAL ABDULLAH