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K. Rajagopal was missing Safee Sali upfront for Malaysia.

I knew China were going to be difficult, says Rajagopal

K. Rajagopal was missing Safee Sali upfront for Malaysia.

Muhammad Izzat Akmal Ismail

Malaysia head coach, Datuk K. Rajagopal was aware of China’s capabilities and was still satisfied despite the 2-0 loss in Beijing on Tuesday nighta

Malaysia played China in a Class ‘A’ friendly on Tuesday night and fell to a 2-0 defeat in Beijing.

A freekick goal in the first half from Zheng Long and a second-half strike from Yang Xu were enough to see off a very defensive Malayan Tigers’ side.

Datuk K. Rajagopal’s men lacked the cutting edge upfront while most of the players’ efforts were concerted to defend against the Chinese who constantly put on the pressure throughout the 90 minutes.

The 57-year-old said at the post-match press conference: “I knew it was going to be a very difficult match and we didn’t have enough training for the game.

“We only watched videos of China.”

Rajagopal knew that the Chinese were going to be very offensive, especially after they thrashed Singapore 6-1 just three days before.

“We needed to be tidy in the backline, using our centre-backs to limit the Chinese attack.

“China are physically good and we didn't let them score easily,” Rajagopal added.

He also cited that they were lacking their best forward in Safee Sali who would have created more chances for the Malayan Tigers if he were available for the friendly.

Despite the lost, the Malaysia head coach was still proud of his players’ efforts on the pitch.

He enthused: “I feel satisfied with our performance.

“Our target is to qualify for the 2015 Asian Cup and this match is to prepare us for qualifier against Bahrain next month.”

Malaysia are set to face Bahrain on October 15 in a home fixture.

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