Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin praised the national team after their spirited performance in which the 10-man Malayan Tigers defeated Yemen in their final game of their Asian Cup qualification campaign.
Malaysia, who eventually bowed out of the competition, needed a big win and other teams to lose in order to qualify, but had to go through the hardest route possible to get the win after centre-back Amiridzwan Taj was sent off in the 8th minute.
According to Astro Arena, Jamaluddin stated, “Our team still played the same old pattern while Yemen showed a new approach with their style of play. However our coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee did really well, he did excellently.”
Jamaluddin also added that he saw some great improvements within the team’s style of play after two matches under Ong Kim Swee.
“I also saw there were improvements with our style of play,” said the minister after he was asked to comment on the national team’s performance against Yemen.
In the last game of their qualification campaign Malaysia took the lead though Amri Yahyah when Yemen goalkeeper made a mistake from Hafiz Kamal’s freekick.
With only 10 men on the pitch, Malaysia had to defend the lead, but conceded a killer goal in the 60th minute, despite a strong performance by goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi.
However, Fakri Saarani gave Malaysia fans something to cheer about in the 76th minute after he scored the winning goal, which saw Malaysia end the campaign with seven points from possible 18.