BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Perhaps a little luckily, Bojan Hodak's Malaysia stole a point in their Group D AFC U-19 Championship clash against Tajikistan, an encounter that ended in a 2-2 draw, which also saw each side reduced to 10 men due to sending-offs. Find out who shined for the Young Tigers on Tuesday.
Azri Ghani - 7/10
The young custodian turned in a confident shift, handling crosses that came his way without much nerve. Perhaps it is a little unfair to have wanted him to save his second penalty in as many matches in the tournament, but he certainly should have done better to organise his defence in the run-up to Tajikistan's second goal.
Shivan Pillay Asokan - 6/10
Malaysia's defence looked a little less shaky on Tuesday, but they were still making mistakes and conceding soft goals. The left back was constantly troubled by their opponents' wing runs.
Al-Imran Halim - 5/10
The centre back found the more-athletic opposition forwards more than a handful, and was not able to protect his goalkeeper. Conceded a needless penalty call that led to the first Tajikistan goal.
Nabil Hakim Bokhari - 6/10
What an eventful evening it was for the centre back. Having turned hero in the second half with his free kick that was knocked by Tajikistan defender Hanonov Vahdat into his own net for the equaliser, he was involved in a horrific incident with 10 minutes remaining on the clock. A lunging challenge by him on Fuzaylov Ziyovuddin ended up horribly breaking the midfielder's ankle, and earning him a red card.
Nabil's 80th minute challenge on Ziyovuddin, which led to the defender's sending off. Photo from AFC/asianadotmy
Feroz Baharudin - 6/10
The right back was not able to contend with the physical play of the Tajiks, and could not support the attack.
Zahril Azri - 6/10
Zahril's partner in the middle of the park allowed the opponents to have too much space, and even with him staying mostly near the danger area, the Tajiks could still threaten Malaysia's penalty box.
Nurfais Johari - 6/10
The left wing had pace, but his touch and delieveries were lacking, and the Young Tigers were not able to threaten the Tajikistan final third as often as they surely would have liked.
Nik Akif Nik Mat - 7/10 (Best player)
The full international showed marked improvement in the match, captaining his teammates in place of benched defender Syaiful Alias. Playing behind the striker, the attacking midfielder displayed composure to hold on to the ball in attack before distributing it to his wingers, if only in patches. His defence-splitting pass led to Malaysia's opening goal, but he is now a doubt for their must-win last group match against China, after a bruising body check sent him sprawling on the pitch, requiring him to be substituted off early in the first half.
Nik Akif Nik Mat. Photo from AFC/asianadotmy
Ramadhan Saifullah - 6/10
The right wing was an improvement over the player he replaced in the starting line-up; Izreen Izwandy. He had pace and technique to get past the Tajikistan left back, and was only hampered by his decision-making in the final third. But in the second half he dropped off the radar as Malaysia lost more ground to the opposition.
Hadi Fayyadh Abdul Razak - 6/10
The striker did well enough to score his second goal in the tournament, Malaysia's opener on Tuesday, on a night the chances were far and few in between for them, but he needs to play a bigger role in the team. He is a little on the slow side while his technique could be better, so he needs to use his physique to hold the ball up the pitch while his teammates race into positions to provide attacking options. Against Tajikistan he often lost the ball too easily, which allowed their speedy players to hit the Young Tigers on the break.
Akhyar Rashid - 6/10
The starlet against started from the bench and only came on in the second half for the injured Akif. He did manage to trouble the Tajikistan defence with his runs and dribbles, but was unable to turn them into goals. He almost always tried to go for glory himself, which made him rather predictable and easier to defend against, especially when he does not have the necessary finishing.
Thivandaran Karanan - 6/10
The midfielder came on midway through the second half, but was unable to shine in the encounter.
Tasnim Fitri - NA
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A number of players in the AFC U-19 Championship have reportedly contracted fever and food poisoning. We asked the updates on the Malaysia team from head coach Bojan Hodak. Beberapa pemain dalam Kejuaraan AFC B19 dilaporkan telah demam dan keracunan makanan. Goal bertanya kepada ketua jurulatih Bojan Hodak jika ada pemain-pemain Malaysia B19 yang turut mengalami perkara yang sama.