Malaysia ratings: vs Chinese Taipei

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Malaysia's commitment to short-pass football would have been commendable, had they not tried it on a heavy pitch. They lost 2-0 to Chinese Taipei.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


Malaysia fell to a 2-0 away defeat in their friendly match against Chinese Taipei on Friday. It was a forgettable night for Tan Cheng Hoe's charges, in the run up to the 2018 AFF Championship later this year.

Farizal Marlias - 5/10

A goalkeeper of Farizal's calibre should have done better to keep out the two goals scored by the hosts. He was no plug to the leaky unit that was Malaysia's defence. 

Mahalli Jasuli - 5/10 

The right back did not push up in attack as often as he is known to have done, but that still did not translate into a tighter and more commanding defensive shift for the experienced Malaysia international.

Irfan Zakaria - 5/10

The Malaysia U-23 centre back did not carry over his from the Young Tigers' relatively successful Asian Games campaign last month, and could not combine convincingly with his central defensive partner.

Shahrul Saad - 5/10

The centre back failed to provide protection for his goalkeeper, and twice they conceded in the game, following defensive lapses.

Fazly Mazlan - 6/10

The defence was Malaysia's weakest department of the night, and left back Fazly was guilty of that too. But a surge of confidence early in the second half saw him pushing up all the way into the final third, and almost scoring.

Nik Akif Nik Mat - 4/10

The teenage midfielder was handed what may have been his first ever senior international start, but failed to impress Cheng Hoe and the fans watching at home. He did not stand out in the middle of the park, and was taken of just before the hour mark. 

Akram Mahinan - 5/10

Malaysia stuck to Cheng Hoe's preferred gameplan of short passes, which would have been admirable had they not tried to do it on a rain-soaked Taipei Municipal Stadium pitch. The midfield in particular is guilty of this, and Akram saw many of his deliveries trapped by wet patches, and the ball was repeatedly repossessed by the opposing players. He was taken off in the 72nd minute.

Syahmi Safari - 5/10

The right winger was handed his first start at the senior stage, but was not able to prove what he is capable of on the waterlogged pitch. He was substituted off alongside Akif.

Nazmi Faiz Mansor - 6/10

The attacking midfielder failed to replicate the performance he put in against Fiji back in July, and as a result, the four attacking teammates in front of him on the pitch could not threaten the Chinese Taipei danger area.

Syazwan Zainon - 5/10

The left winger was unable to provide enough threat from his flank, and striker Zaquan Adha Abdul Radzak was left having to do too much in attack.

Zaquan Adha Abdul Radzak - 5/10

Much was expected of the experienced forward and skipper, but Zaquan ultimately disappointed. He did not threaten the hosts defence adequately, did not combine well with the wingers and the midfielders, and when he did have the ball in the box, his efforts would often go begging for a better finish.

Substitutions:

Nasir Basharudin - 6/10

Coming on for Akif, the midfielder proved a better replacement for the teenager. He was more confident in going forward, and even made two long-range attempts, which unfortunately ended wide.

Akhyar Rashid - 6/10 (Best player)

The starlet provided a bigger threat against the hosts when he came on for Syahmi in the 57th minute, but ultimately could not employ his usual defence-penetrating dribbles on the heavy pitch. Regardless, he came close to scoring, however, the forward's solo effort only hit the post.

Shahrel Fikri Fauzi, Syazwan Andik Ishak - NA

Late substitutions who could not turn the match around in Malaysia's favour.

 

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