Compared to the first match against Cambodia, Malaysia produced a significantly better performance against Indonesia to claim their first point of the tournament. But the Young Tigers did made it hard for themselves by going behind twice but showed plenty of fighting spirit to claw their way back each time.
Marinus Wanewar had put Indonesia ahead in the second half after a goalless opening period but Nik Akif Syahiran produced an accurate free kick to level proceedings quickly. However Malaysia took another knock when substitute Witan Sulaeman scored a stunning curler from outside the box to give Indonesia the lead for the second time in the match.
But Hadi Fayyadh secured a valuable point for Ong Kim Swee's boys late on when he glanced Nik Akif's corner kick in. Kim Swee was quick to praise his team after the match and pinpointed the set piece route as one of the team's main aim to negate the impact of a poor pitch quality.
"I said after the first game against Cambodia that we need a point and today the boys showed character. It's not easy back to back and Indonesia is a very good team with good individuals. But it's good to see them coming back from 1-0 and 2-1, it showed that they have fighting spirit and I hope they can go further than this."
"That is what we trained for and that is our strength. As everyone is aware, we don't have all our players here and the condition of the surface is not good for us to play good football so we need to do what we have to. So that two set pieces is a good example of where we can make the difference.
"I think we have equal chance this time and we need to be very focus in all our games. For me Indonesia is always a big threat and the boys proved themselves today, hopefully they (Indonesia) will never beat us," said Kim Swee in the post-match press conference.
In the later match, Cambodia beat Myanmar to secure their place in the next stage of the competition which leaves only one more spot for Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar to fight it out. Malaysia will face Myanmar in the final group match on Feb 22 and Kim Swee is convinced that getting their first win in the tournament will be enough to see them through.
"With one point we still have a chance. We need three points against Myanmar on the last day and we need to achieve that if we want to qualify for the semi-finals," added Kim Swee.
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