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Malaysia v Sri Lanka Match Report, 5/10/19

6 - 0
Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil
Malaysia 6 Sri Lanka 0: Tigers bare fangs in lopsided win
12:38 am AEST 6/10/19
Syafiq Ahmad, Malaysia v Sri Lanka, International Friendly, 5 Octo 2019
The Tigers received a shot of confidence boost ahead of a crunch trip to Vietnam after four different players got on the scoresheet against Sri Lanka.

It was just what the doctors prescribed before the trip away to Hanoi to face Vietnam in the next match of Group G in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. While the 202-ranked Sri Lanka were never going to pose much danger to 158-ranked Malaysia, the clean sheet and goals scored in the match will still provide the necessary shot in the arm for Harimau Malaya.

After narrowly losing to United Arab Emirates last month, Tan Cheng Hoe needed his boys to get straight back on the horse and back to winning ways. It was the reason that he picked a very strong side to start the match against the minnows Sri Lanka and he was rewarded with a positive display in the attacking third of the pitch.

Mohamadou Sumareh, Nor Azam Azih, J. Partiban and Shahrel Fikri were all missing from the match day squad for one reason or another, and it gave an opportunity for Cheng Hoe to give Akhyar Rashid a run-out on the left wing while Aidil Zafuan went straight back into the team to partners Shahrul Saad at the heart of Malaysia's defence.

Right from the kick-off the match became one of attack versus defence with Malaysia piling the pressure from the first whistle. Man-of-the-moment Syafiq Ahmad got the ball rolling in the 9th minute when he turned in Safawi Rasid's cross from the right hand side to score in his third straight game for the country.

Shahrul Saad made it just five minutes later before Syafiq turned provider to re-enact Malaysia's first goal, laying on the pass for Norshahrul Idlan Talaha to score his first for Malaysia since that Timor Leste match in the first preliminary round of the qualifiers. 3-0 up before 20 minutes had been played and it was all very comfortable for the home side.

The away side were really struggling to contain Malaysia at the start of the match but regrouped after the concession of the third goal to at least prevented Malaysia from adding to the score in the first half. They also managed to muster their first shot on target in the match when Kurukulasuriyage Dilip forced Farizal Marlias into a save right before half time.

It would take Malaysia six minutes after the restart to change the scoreline with Akhyar benefiting from a fumble by Sri Lanka keeper Himi Luthfi to put away Malaysia's fourth goal of the night from close range much to the delight of the 7,293 in attendance at Bukit Jalil National Stadium.

Syafiq capped a splendid night from himself and Malaysia by first running onto substitute Danial Amier's pass in the 76th minute to grab his second goal on the night before volleying a shot in the 89th minute to make it 6-0. A good night's work that will surely put the team in a great mood when they get on the flight to Vietnam come Monday.


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