BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Malaysia head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee was able to see the lighter side of things, following his charges' 0-0 draw against Philippines in their Wednesday friendly, the fourth consecutive goalless draw between the two sides.
"Maybe there's a curse on the Philippines and Malaysia, whereby we've drawn 0-0 three (consecutive) times, even in Kuala Lumpur," the coach said to the press after the match.
On top of the scoreless record between the two sides, the match was also the fifth straight draw in the fixture, going all the way back to 2012.
However, Kim Swee was nevertheless pleased with the result, saying that their opponents are a tough side to play.
"I believe it's always tough to play the Philippines. There were two sides of the game, you could see in the first half they controlled more of the game.
"But in the second half we got back in the game. I believe this game served its purpose... I think it is a fair result," admitted the 46-year old coach.
And despite having arrived in the Philippines with the aim of winning the encounter, Kim Swee did not see the stalemate as a failure.
"Like the Philippines, we wanted to win. But they have improved tremendously in the past few years and based on their (FIFA) ranking, they're better than us.
"But to get a point (draw) away from home, for us is a very valuable point. So I don't think the draw meant that we did not achieve what we wanted," defended Kim Swee.
He also singled out a number of his more-experienced players for their performance in the match.
"You could see that Amri Yahyah, Safee Sali, Shahrom Kalam and Ronny Harun, all of them worked very well and worked very hard.
"I believe we still need the senior (experienced) players to guide the younger members of the squad in the future," he explained.