BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
A visibly disappointed Myanmar U22 head coach Gerd Zeise criticised his charges' performance in their 3-1 defeat to Malaysia U22, and joked that he would physically reprimand them for collapsing in their final Group A SEA Games match.
Having already secured qualification to the semis, the 2015 silver medalists and group favourites went into the match on Monday needing at least a draw against the hosts to secure their top spot in the group, but was stunned by two quickfire goals in the 33rd and 35th minute. While they were pushing for their first goal of the match, the Young Tigers hit them with the third goal, and they only found the consolation goal minutes before the end of regulation time.
According to the German trainer, his men had been taking the match lightly in the run up to the clash.
"I'm very disappointed with most of my players. In the approach to the game I could see something was wrong. The ticket (to the semi-finals) was already in the pocket, but they played like that.
"It was shameful the way they played in the first half, a shame for Myanmar to present that performance to your (Malaysian) spectators, a shame for me. It's a disaster, a major disaster," vented Zeise in the post-match press conference.
When asked by Goal about the talk he would have with his team, he responded jokingly that he would take physical action against his men.
"I'd better not talk about it. I must beat them up, as you can see I now have a big neck!
"I must beat them up and have many talks. Especially in training we must do something. Yesterday I sensed what would happen, because they were not 100 per cent on the pitch.
"My number six (Ye Yint Tun) could not play, my number 11 (Maung Maung Lwin) is normally a good player but he was nowhere," explained Zeise.
But he promised that they will be a changed team in the semi-finals, when he predicted that his side will face Group A favourites; Vietnam.
"We have five days to recover and you will see a different team," said Zeise.