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Malaysia U23

Who starred in Malaysia's historic footballing moment

9:24 AM IST 17/01/18
Malaysia U23
After a triumphant day in Malaysian football, Goal picks out the individual success stories from the magnificent 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia.

A momentous occasion in the history of Malaysian football, the 1-0 win was undoubtedly the biggest result the country have achieved in the past 20 years even though it's an under-age tournament. The Suzuki Cup triumph in 2010 was great but pales in relative comparison to this achievement simply because one is a regional competition and the other is a continental one.

To be the first side from ASEAN to reach the last eight of the AFC U23 Championship is no mean feat yet it could be one shared with Vietnam after today. No one gave the team a ghost of a chance to qualify to the knockout stage and yet they did. Goal sing their praise today, from an individual standpoint.

Haziq Nadzli 8

Made a couple of errors with his handling at times but came up trumps when called upon. Despite Saudi Arabia holding most of the possession, they did not peppered shots at Haziq. The JDT keeper stood tall in a few one-on-one situations.

Dominic Tan 8

Outstanding once again, Dominic is growing from match to match and is now a vital cog in the defence. His interceptions and tackles were spot on, Dominic hardly conceded any free kicks despite playing aggresively throughout the 90 minutes.

Irfan Zakaria 8

Increasingly getting better at adjusting his position, Irfan doesn't let his lack of pace be the downfall of him with his immaculate sense of awareness. Marshalled the backline well against the Saudis with no chance of them breaking the line of defence.

Adam Nor Azlin 8

The team captain whose pre-match talks are fast becoming stuff of legends, Adam capped a trio of strong centre backs that have grown accustomed to the styles of each other. Complimented each other very well to keep Saudi Arabia at bay.

Danial Amier 8

The toast of the country at the moment. Often times, a goal scorer doesn't necessarily have the best of games but Danial bucked that trend. Read the game well and made crucial challenges, Danial was also very tidy on the ball to give the Malaysian defence a breather when needed.

Nor Azam Azih 6

Probably the poorest player on the night, Nor Azam worked hard but continuously kept losing the ball by being over indulgent on the ball. When the team doesn't have quite as much ball possession, Azam's influence on the game can look very menial. 

Syazwan Andik 7

Still gets caught out when the ball is pumped in behind him but otherwise, Syazwan was much better in his decision making and performed his job well on the left hand side. His boundless energy meant that he was also able to help out with the occasional foray forward.

Matthew Davies 8

Great performance from the Pahang captain on the right hand side. It was him who helped create the goal for Malaysia and could have doubled the lead a moment later with the same move had it not been for a Saudi block. Davies also put in an incredible shift in defence.

Safawi Rasid 8

The match against Saudi Arabia did not showcase his attacking talents but for someone who is not known for his tracking back, Safawi worked tirelessly throughout the 90 minutes helping his defence. 

R. Kogileswaran 6

Only played 45 minutes. Did well in holding the ball and winning a couple of fouls. Was reckless in getting a yellow card, kicking out at the advertisement board in anger, which probably cost him his place in the second half.

Akhyar Rashid 8

Just like Safawi, Akhyar was also a great help to the Malaysian defence. Also worked well on the break, using his pace and trickery very well to win fouls high up on the pitch to ease the load on the defence.

Jafri Chew 6

Played the entirety of the second half, replacing Kogileswaran. Still struggling to hold onto the ball and looks likely to lose his place again for the quarterfinal.

Syamer Kutty Abba 6

Came into the match replacing the less than effective Nor Azam but struggled to get into the pace of the game.