Malaysia 1-1 Bahrain: Malayan Tigers held by visitors

Qualification for the 2015 Asian Cup became that much harder for third-placed Malaysia following their draw with second-placed Bahrain.
Malaysia's third match in the 2013 Asian Cup qualification went underway with Malaysia taking on Bahrain at the Stadium Shah Alam. The home side, accumulating three points from two matches, needed to win at home to ensure qualification to the finals whereas Bahrain went into the match with six.

The first ten minutes took place with both the home side and the visitors sharing possession of the ball. Bahrain went up cautiously, whereas Malaysia forayed into Bahrain's danger area a number of times, knowing that they needed to win this match to claw themselves back into the qualification zone.

Four minutes from the break, Amirizwan Taj looked to be through on goal following a set-piece, but he was flagged for offside instead.

But as the match looked to go into half time scoreless, Bahrain took the lead from a wonderful strike from outside the box by Abdulla Ahmed Saleh that whizzed past Khairul Fahmi's outstretched fingers. As the players walked into the tunnel, the fans sang "Rajagobal, apa yang kau buat?" (Rajagobal, what are you doing?")

In the 60th minute, Safiq Rahim ventured into the Bahrain box with a slaloming individual run, but his wonderful solo effort was stopped at the last minute by a sliding tackle by a Bahrain defender.

Eight minutes later, Azamuddin Akil who has been quiet at that point, sent in a teasing short cross from the right that looked like it would find the head of his many teammates who were in the box. But goalkeeper Sayed Mohamed Jaafar was out like a shot to intercept his cross.

Despite failing to show urgency while trailing, the home side managed to nick one back in the 71st minute. A layoff in front of the Bahrain penalty box found Norshahrul Idlan, who curled it in into the top right corner to equalise.

Just as Malaysia were in the midst of finding the lead in the 88th minute, a low cross by Dawood Saad almost caused them trouble, but K. Reuben managed to deflect the ball over the ball to rescue the Malayan Tigers.

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