In many ways, it highlighted the problem that Malaysia have going into the year-end 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup - the lack of a prolific scorer in the team. Throughout the 90 minutes against Kyrgyzstan, more so in the first half than the second, Malaysia had the opportunities to find the back of the net but lacked the finishing touch.
Norshahrul Idlan Talaha and Zaquan Adha had chances to fire Malaysia ahead in the match before Krygyzstan took the lead halfway through the second half but were either inaccurate with their shots or found Matiash Pavel in the opponent's goal in good form.
Head coach of Malaysia Tan Cheng Hoe acknowledged the problem up front after the match but still heap praise on his team being able to perform a good job from the back until the middle third of the pitch. But the 50-year-old is keeping his fingers crossed that the forward line will come good in due time.
"We have more positive signs than negative. This is one of the good test match for me to see how far the players can perform against a team better than us. Of course important that the players play the way we want to play. We kept the ball well, created chances but just could not finish."
"Unfortunately we are lacking players who can score but what is positive is that we managed to create chances. Eventually the goals will come in the future," said Tan in the post-match press conference on Tueday.
Tan will be keeping a close watch on the fitness of Matthew Davies who picked up a knee injury against Sri Lanka. The Pahang captain is expected to be sent for another medical scan sometime this week with the early indication of it being just two weeks out for the right back.
Malaysia will play their final friendly before going into the regional tournament when they take on Maldives at Bukit Jalil National Stadium on 3 November. There might yet be a surprise or two in the final squad as Tan will undoubtedly pour over the final three matches of the Malaysia Cup that starts this weekend.
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