Pesepak bola Bahrain, Ahmed Sanad (kanan) berusaha menghalau bola yang ditendang pesepak bola Malaysia, Mohamad Hadi Fayadh Abdul Razak (kiri) dalam pertandingan babak penyisihan Asian Games 2018 di Stadion Wibawa Mukti, Bekasi, Senin (20/8). ANTARA FOTO/INASGOC/Ari Bowo Sucipto/Sup/18

National Under-23 coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee was left disappointed with the performance of the reserves as Malaysia slumped to a 2-3 defeat to Bahrain in their final Group E match in the Asian Games football competition Monday.

Despite the defeat to Bahrain at Wibawa Mukti Stadium in Cikarang, Malaysia topped the group after defeating Kyrgyzstan (3-1) and defending champions South Korea (2-1) and will meet Japan in the knockout stage at the Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium on Friday.

Kim Swee made eight changes to his first team and retained only Baddrol Bakthiarm Adam Nor Azlin and Syahmi Safari.

We could have been hit four and five goals. The reserves were given the chance but failed to grab the opportunity given to them to prove their worth. They lacked discipline and failed to gel as a team and there was no rhythm.

“Putting the score aside, it was not what we wanted. Hopefully, the seniors will be able to give us the performance we are capable of when we play Japan in the next match,” said Kim Swee.

And it was Syahmi who gave Malaysia the lead on 20 minutes but in a seven-minute spell Bahrain a 2-1 lead with goals by Mohammad Hardan (33rd) and Hamad Alshamsan (37th).

Bahrain added a third goal in the 89th minute with Hardan completing his brace before Malaysia pulled one back through substitute Safawi Rasid from the penalty spot in injury time.

In another match, in the same group champions, Korea advanced to the knockout stage with a 1-0 win over Kyrgyzstan – with World Cupper Son Heung-min netting the solitary goal. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH 

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