BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Jafri Firdaus Chew has not had a satisfying time for Malaysia U22 so far in the SEA Games. After turning in a forgettable performance in their 2-1 campaign opener win against Brunei, the Pulau Pinang striker was benched by head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee in their 2-1 win against Singapore.
However against Myanmar on Monday, with Malaysia leading the favourites 2-0, Ong brought him on as replacement for club and country teammate Kumaahran Sathasivam in the 78th minute, and the 20-year old repaid the faith shown in him just four minutes later.
Jafri took the ball to the left of the Myanmar penalty box, and tarried there awhile looking for a teammate in the box.
Spotting Thanabalan Nadarajah racing into the penalty area, Jafri squared a pin-point cross that the Felcra FC man headed into the bottom corner, sending the Shah Alam Stadium into rapture. The group match would end in a 3-1 win to the hosts.
Speaking to the press after the match, Jafri admitted that his form took a hit following the match against Brunei, and he wants to use the assist to boost his form.
"I am relieved that I could produce an assist. I had a terrible time against Brunei, so even though I played only for a short while tonight, I showed what I'm capable of.
"Praise Allah, we came away with three points," said Jafri.
Malaysia will play unfancied Laos in their final Group A match on Wednesday, with a draw sufficient to allow Ong's men to finally pip Myanmar to the top spot.