Malaysia’s preparation for the 2015 Asian Cup qualifier against Bahrain took a dent after they were defeated by UAE in an international friendly match held in Shenzhen, China.
Harimau Malaya would rue their missed opportunities in the first period as they should have netted at least three times but instead, midfield stalwart Safiq Rahim’s strike from outside the penalty area was Malaysia’s only consolation at the Universiade Stadium.
With the defeat, Datuk K. Rajagopal’s men have run a string of losses after dropping to China 2-0 in September.
However, the Malayan Tigers can breathe a sigh of relief as the match versus UAE was deemed by both nations’ Football Associations, UAE Football Association and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), as a non-class-‘A’ friendly and as such, it would not affect either side’s standings in the FIFA rankings.
Malaysia will face Bahrain on October 15 at the Shah Alam Stadium for their third 2015 Asian Cup qualifier.
After losing to Qatar 2-0 in the opening Group D tie and defeating Yemen 2-1 in the following game, Harimau Malaya are placed third with three points, above Yemen.
Bahrain lead the group with six points in two games while Qatar are above Malaysia by a superior goal difference.