Malaysia held their own against Kyrgyzstan in narrow defeat
FAM
Malaysia lost for the third time in seven matches but managed to put up a creditable fight in the loss to Kyrgyzstan.

In a repeat of the bout of international friendlies played in September, Malaysia ended their two matches in October with one win and one defeat after suffering a narrow 0-1 loss at the hands of Kyrgyzstan at Hang Jebat Stadium on Tuesday.

However, unlike the disappointing defeat to Chinese Taipei last month, Malaysia put up a much better showing this time around despite the defeat. There will be plenty of encouragement to be taken from this match as Malaysia (171) showed that the big difference in the FIFA rankings to Kyrgyzstan (91) meant little.

Tan swapped more than half the team out from the one that started against Sri Lanka last Friday with the likes of Shahrul Saad, Syazwan Andik, Khairul Fahmi and Syahmi Safari getting into the first eleven. There was also a first start for the duo of Kenny Pallraj and Mohamadou Sumareh.

The height of the Kyrgyzstan players were giving Malaysia a lot of problems particularly from set piece situations. Twice they went close to taking the lead but on both occasions, Kozubaev Tamirlan headed wide from threatening positions.

Slowly but surely, Malaysia started to get a foothold in the game with Kenny and Syamer Kutty Abba bossing the midfield. In the 30th minute from a break on the right hand side, Syahmi's low cross found Norshahrul Idlan Talaha inside the box but the latter's shot only found the frame of the goal.

In the last five minutes of the first half, Malaysia created two good goalscoring chances but just could not convert. First, Zaquan Adha's header in the 41st minute was pushed out by Kyrgyzstan's keeper Matiash Pavel and three minutes later, the latter reacted quickly to tip away Norshahrul's goal-bound shot.

The second half began with Kyrgyzstan dictating play as they inched closer to getting the opening goal of the match. It soon came in the 68th minute through a combination of two substitutes as Malaysia's defence crumbled in a moment of lapse concentration. 

Musabekov Farkhat unleashed a shot from outside the box which struck the unfortunate Irfan Zakaria and rebounded kindly to the path of Sagynbaev Bekzhan, who gave Khairul Fahmi no chance with an accurate shot to the bottom corner of the goal.

A bright figure in the first half, Sumareh just didn't have the same impact he did in the second half as Tan threw on Akhyar Rashid and Nik Akif Syahiran to save the situation. But despite playing with one man more after Iusupov Mustafa was sent off for two bookable offence, Malaysia just could not find the prized equaliser.

 

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