# Malaysia record their first win on Oceania playing tour
# Amirulhadi and Baddrol Bakthiar score for Malaysia
# Azrif Nasrulhaq red carded for two yellow offences
The players responded to coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s pep talk at half time for a more aggressive play with two goals as Malaysia came back from a goal down to beat New Caledonia 2-1 in an international “A” friendly at the Numa Daly Stadium in New Caledonia on Wednesday.
It was Malaysia’s first win on the three-match playing tour of Oceania after a 2-0 defeat to Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby in their first match on June 17.
“I told the players to be more aggressive in their game and play a more attacking game. It worked and we got two well deserved goals. New Caledonia gave us a hard time but this was expected,” said Kim Swee.
For the record Malaysia are ranked 173 against New Caledonia who are 183.
New Caledonia took the lead after 20 minute through their French based striker Jean Philippe Saiko who beat goalkeeper Izham Tarmizi Roslan from the top of the penalty box. Izham, who plays for Johor Darul Takzim in the M-League did not play against Papua New Guinea.
JDT player Amirulhadi Zainal put Malaysia back in the picture with the equaliser on 48 minutes before Kedah’s Baddrol Bakthiar put Harimau Malaysia in front with a delightful free-kick that beat New Caledonia custodian Thomas Schmidt in the 54th minute.
Malaysia, who had to play with 10 players after 66 minutes against Papua New Guinea because Kim Swee had made the maximum six changes allowed in a “A” friendly when Shahrom Kalam was stretchered out due to injury, had to endure nearly 10 minutes when Azrif Nasrulhaq was sent for an early shower for a second bookable offence – this time for time wasting.
New Caledonia also had a player sent off when Goerges Bearune was yellow carded for the second time in the 88th minute.
Malaysia wind up their playing tour with a match against Fiji (ranked 186) in Suva on Sunday.