Malaysia 1-1 Bangladesh: Tigers throw away lead once again
History repeated itself as for the second time in a week, a Malaysian team that seemed in complete control against 10 men, threw away the lead in a below par performance
By Mark Dawson
The home team were quick out of the blocks creating the first chance of the game with just over a minute gone. Right-winger Khyril Muhymeen Zambri beat two Bangladesh defenders before drilling in a low cross which Norsharul Talaha hit the ball high over the bar.
Malaysia continued to press the ball and they should have taken the lead in the 8th minute. From wide left, S. Kunanlan cut onto his right foot and delivered a beautiful floated cross to Khyril who had ghosted in from the right-wing, but the forward could only disappointingly head over.
Despite trying to pass the ball neatly, Bangladesh fashioned little in the way of attacking pressure. Malaysia again should have tested the keeper in the 21st minute, as Norsharul displayed his trademark trickery in beating Sujan on the right goal line, before flighting a cross which Captain Safiq Rahim headed over.
However it didn’t take long for Malaysia to open the scoring as in the 22nd minute Khyril got the goal his play deserved as he rose highest and beat Sujan and Mamunul Islam to head home Safiq’s right wing corner. It was almost 2-0 shortly after as S. Kunanlan again beat his man and whipped the ball into the area, however it was too high for Safee Sali’s head.
Khyril thought he had his second goal of the game in the 34th minute as he slotted home following good work by Safiq and Norsharul, but he was correctly flagged offside. As the half wore on, the away team came into the game more and had two off-target long range efforts by left-winger Ahmed Shakil and Zahid Hossain. Bangladesh did register their first effort on target in stoppage time as Waly Faisal again took an attempt from distance, however Farizal gathered it comfortably.
The second half was a much quieter affair with Malaysia withdrawing Safiq, Norsharul , Safee and Kunanlan at the interval. One of the replacements, Hazwan Bakri, almost doubled the lead in the 48th minute after robbing Mamum Miah, but his low effort was turned behind. The next chance came in the 59th minute as Khyril again got on the end of a right-wing free kick but his header drifted wide. In the 68th minute, right-back Bunyamin Omar attempted to get the home team going as he drove to the byline and cut the ball back, however Mamum Khan smothered the ball at the feet of Baddrol Bakhtiar.
Bangladesh, who had offered no attacking threat in the second half seemingly had their chances of getting back into the game extinguished as Pranotosh Kumer Das was dismissed in the 78th minute following a second booking. However just as Malaysia threw the game away against the ten-men of Hong Kong last week following a defensive error, they managed to do the same again here. Bangladesh substitute Mithun Chowdhry ran through on goal and was recklessly clattered by Irwan Fadzli despite having Khairul Fahmi covering him. Jahid Hasan Ameli cooly slotted the ball home to the delight of the away fans. Malaysia almost snatched a win after a great turn into the area by Baddrol, but the visiting keeper was again out quickly to save.
Another week and another dissatisfying result for the Tigers who threw the game away through poor defending. The game was there for the taking but a casual performance in the second half, in which the home team never seriously tried to extend their lead, cost them dearly once again.
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