* National squad suffers embarassing 6-0 defeat in Muscat
* Kunanlan gives away two penalties on a disastrous night for Malaysia
It turned out to be a “pussy cat show” in Muscat as Oman ran riot with a 6-0 whitewash of Malaysia in a friendly match – clear signals that the Malaysian Tigers have a mountain to climb in their World Cup (2018) and Asia Cup (2019) qualifiers which begin in June.
Dollah Salleh’s squad puts up an insipid performance, following what was an ill-prepared squad in the run up to the game on the road.
Oman grabbed the lead after 15 minutes when Yaqoub Abdul Karim beat goalkeeper Farizal Marlias with a well taken shot from outside the penalty box. It was the start of Malaysia’s nightmare and the Johor Darul Takzim custodian, who moved from Selangor this season, was lucky not to have conceded a couple more goals – thanks to the woodwork and poor finishing by the homesters.
Still Oman were not to be denied their second goal which came via a penalty minutes before the halftime whistle. S. Kunanlan, another of JDT’s new signings from Selangor this season, gave away the penalty when he felled Raid Ibrahim Salleh inside the box. Abdul Aziz gleefully tucked in Oman’s goal No 2.
Farizal was replaced after the breather with Pahang custodian Khairul Azhan Khalid taking over the job between the posts. But within six minutes into the half Khairul picked up the ball from the back of his net not once but twice. Qasim Said scored in the 47th minute and Abdul Aziz, always a danger when on the ball got his second on the night on 51 minutes.
Oman were on fire and Yaqoub got his second with a powerful header after being set up by Mohsin Johar. It did not stop at that when Kunanlan gave away his second penalty when he felled Abdul Salam Al Mukhaini. This time Mohsin his got his name into the scoresheet when he made no mistake from the spot for goal No 6 for Oman.
If there is any consolation for Dollah, at least he knows he gave several new names a chance while the search goes on for capable players to be in the national squad.
Even skipper Safiq Rahim had a poor game in Muscat as Malaysian football tries to get out of the doldrums. It is left to be seen what is in store for the national team, especially when the highly paid “stars” in state teams give monetary gains priority and put national pride and dignity aside.
The bashing in Muscat has only made Dollah’s job all the more tougher. Dollah, however, faced the same predicament in last year’s AFF Suzuki Cup but the Malaysian Tigers stunned all to reach the final before losing to Thailand.
But can you blame Dollah when he is always fighting time – what more when the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has never been able to come up with a proper schedule when it comes to the M-League. Postponing matches has become a norm so much so, more often than not, no one is bothered about keeping track of the fixtures.