The Harimau Malaya (national football squad) ended their winless streak after beating 179th ranked team in the world Laos 3-1, in a grade ‘A’ international friendly match at the Thupatemee Stadium in Pathum Thani, Thailand, Thursday.

Felda United’s D. Christie Jayaseelan emerged hero for the national team after scoring two goals, one in the 50th minute and the other in stoppage time, in addition to the goal from Pahang’s striker, Azamuddin Mohd Akil in the 53rd minute, said the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) via its Twitter account.

Laos grabbed a consolation goal through a penalty kick by Sitthideth Khanthavong in the 82nd minute.

National veteran striker, Safee Sali almost added a fourth for the Harimau Malaya, but his penalty kick in injury time of the second half was a little off to the right of goal.

It was a warm-up match for the team before facing Timor Leste in the fifth match of the Group A qualifiers at the Dili Municipal Stadium on Oct 13.

Meanwhile, interim head coach Ong Kim Swee hoped the victory could be a morale booster for the players when they face Timor Leste later.

He admitted that there were some significant drawbacks for the national team in the match due to bad pitch conditions, but nevertheless he was satisfied with the excellent performance from the players.

At the same time, Kim Swee also praised Christie for his two goals, besides being the driving force of the team to win the match.

“He proved that not only can he play on the right wing or in attack, but can also help out in defence. Getting the two goals proves Christie has the quality to play at a high level,” he explained.

Christie, meanwhile said he was humbled to be the one to help the team win, as it had been a long time since he was called up to represent the national squad in an international match.

“I had been given a lot opportunities under previous coaches, but this time, I was determined to prove something to the coach after a long period out from representing the country,” he said. – BERNAMA

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