Selangor’s own striking stalwart, Amri Yahyah, stood out as he netted Malaysia's only goal against a well-knit Barca side
|MAN OF THE MATCH
Malaysia XI 1-3 Barcelona
Before kickoff, the Malaysia XI-Barcelona match faced a logistical nightmare as the organizers were forced to change the venue of the match from the Bukit Jalil Stadium to the Shah Alam Stadium at the very last minute.
After surviving the horror of a possible cancellation of the epic match, an incomplete stadium sat and watched as Datuk K. Rajagopal had a lot to prove.
To the delight of the Malaysian fans, the Malayan Tigers fought valiantly against arguably the best team in the world, Barcelona.
Despite going down 3-1, Malaysia displayed one of their best football in recent months that saw Barcelona fail to find the net for 33 minutes - at that, it was a soft goal from Cesc Fabregas that broke the deadlock.
Neymar, scoring his second for the Catalan giants, netted Barca’s second of the night with Gerard Pique scoring their third.
The 26-year-old defender might have been the man of the match according to the sponsors that night, but Goal felt that Amri Yahyah was the man who deserved it more.
For starters, his work rate was unparalleled at the Shah Alam Stadium as he fought red tooth and claw to chase every ball that came his way.
He did what every striker should do, and that was pressure the Barcelona defence right in their on defensive third with the likes of Javier Mascherano and the towering Pique.
He was involved in most of Malaysia’s attacking forays and he deservedly got his goal - the equalizing goal - just eight minutes after Fabregas opened the ‘inevitable’ flood gates at Shah Alam.
The fans in attendance would most definitely agree with our choice as they roared their delight at Amri’s scorcher of a goal.
The 32-year-old stayed on for 60 minutes but there is no doubt that he is still a force to be reckoned with for the team in black and yellow.
With the Malaysia Cup on the horizon, Amri will only have tons of room for improvement before he rejoins the Malayan Tigers on their road towards the Asian Cup.
Perhaps his leadership can revive Malaysia and - just maybe - keep King Raja at the helm for Harimau Malaya beyond 2013.