Malaysia U-23 Ratings: vs Bahrain U-23

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A mostly second-string Malaysia U23 turned in an underwhelming performance, as they were defeated by Bahrain U23 in their last Asian Games group match


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


Datuk Ong Kim Swee's Young Tigers failed to end the group stage on a high note, after a mostly second-string Malaysia U-23 fell to a 3-2 defeat to Bahrain U-23.

Ifwat Akmal Che Kassim - 6/10

The goalkeeper, making his first start in the tournament, had a game of two halves. He should have done better to keep out the two first half Bahrain goals, but played much better in the second, needing some unorthodox goalkeeping to cover for a poor defensive performance by his teammates.

Adam Nor Azlin - 6/10

The centre back was one of the few key players to be fielded at the start, and did not disappoint. Stopped a number of dangerous Bahrain forays with his tackles, and provided commanding presence in the defence. He was subbed off in the 65th minute.

Adib Zainudin - 5/10

The defender has not been the same player who used to captain the side, and failed to use the start handed to him in the match to prove himself. It was his mistake that led to Bahrain's first goal, in the first half. 

Syazwan Zaipol Bahari - 5/10

The left back did not contribute much, and lacked fitness early on in the second half.

Baddrol Bakhtiar - 5/10

The skipper, one of the two overaged players on the squad, had another average game, on a night that his younger teammates could have used some experience.

Nik Akif Nik Mat - 6/10

The midfielder returned to the starting line-up, and although he was still jittery, he turned in an improved performance in the second half, especially when helping the fatigued defence. Picked up a booking in the first half.

Syahmi Safari - 7/10

The utility player was surprisingly fielded at the start of the match despite expectation that he would be rested, and was fielded in his favourite role as right winger. And he did repay the faith shown in him, scoring the game's wonderful opening goal. In the second half, while Malaysia were trailing 2-1, he could have helped them level the scoreline with a teasing low cross, had the forwards been more clinical.

Tommy Mawat Bada - 7/10 (Best Performer)

The winger, making his first start in the tournament, the best performer in the match for Malaysia. He kept to a simple game, but tirelessly made runs down the left flank to help in attack and defence. 

Kogileswaran Mohana Raj - 6/10

The forward was unlucky to have a goal attempt in the first half denied on the line, but otherwise played well enough. However, the biggest drawback in his game was his inability to gel well with the other forwards, a blame that should also be shouldered by them.

Faisal Abdul Halim - 6/10

The forward showed some potential with his movement on the ball, but it is his movement off it that displayed his failure to connect with the team's tactics. At times he was a little too selfish, when the better option would have been to release the ball to his teammates. The coach took him off in the 58th minute.

Hadi Fayyadh Abdul Razak - 4/10

Much was expected out of the striker, but Hadi failed to shine in the match. He was static, and failed to open spaces for himself and his teammates.

Substitutions:

Akhyar Rashid - 6/10

The starlet came on early in the second half, but could not shine again, as the defence and midfield failed to distribute the ball to the front. However, his late dribble led to a penalty after he was fouled, a chance that Safawi Rasid put away to close the margin.

Rodney Calvin Akwensivie - 5/10

The centre back came on for Adam, but failed to help the defence contain the Bahrain attack.

Safawi Rasid - 6/10

The star failed to turn the scoreline around when they were trailing, but still added to his goal tally with a late penalty.

 

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