BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
After his Malaysia U23 side's fairy-tale run in the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship was brought to an end with a 2-1 defeat to Korea Republic in their quarter-final match on Saturday, head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee now wants to build on the achivement, by making the team more consistent in the future.
Earlier this week, the Young Tigers became the first ever Southeast Asian side to qualify for the knockout stage of the tournament, by producing a shock 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia in their last Group C match. More amazingly, it was their debut appearance in the biennial continental championship.
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Ong said that his side played well in the match, but ultimately lost to one of the best teams in the tournament.
"The boys did very, very well but at the end of the day, I still believe that Korea Republic are one of the best teams.
"They didn't panic even though we equalised, and managed to punish us towards the end of the game (with the winner)," said the former Malaysia international.
Now Ong wants to look towards the future in his capacity as the team coach, to build on Malaysia's achievement.
"We did well in terms of acheievement, but we cannot be happy. We have to look back at the situations we encountered against Iraq, Saudi Arabia and even Korea Republic.
"We have to be consistent in terms of showing good performance, avoiding from playing well in one game and performing badly in the next. We need to go back and see what we can work on," he remarked.