Adam proud of team effort in gallant run to the final

Adam Nor Azlin, Malaysia, 2017 KL SEA Games
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Adam Nor Azlin had another outstanding game in the heart of Malaysia's defence but accepts that Thailand were just about deserving winners at the end

It wasn't to be at the end, as Malaysia failed to win their sixth game on the trot in the 2017 KL SEA Games and had to watch Thailand go on to pick up their gold medal for the third straight edition of the tournament.

Malaysia put up a valiant fight in the final at Shah Alam Stadium and no fan could begrudge the effort that they put in. Perhaps the team ran out of steam in the match which mattered the most but it will be tough to be overly critical of the performance that the boys put in throughout the tournament.

At the heart of it all was Selangor's Adam Nor Azlin, who displayed tremendous heart and desire from start to finish. The centre back is a shoo-in to be in the team of the tournament, again produced an astute performance in the final and he doesn't want this to be the pinnacle for the team, just yet.

"We are sad but we should take this as a lesson for the future. I hope all of us can continue to improve to prepare for the AFC next year. I'm proud of everyone. As everyone know, we had a lot of problems during the preparations but we managed to reach the final. That is something to be proud of. I think all Malaysians should feel the same," said Adam after the match.

Malaysia had chances to score throughout the 90 minutes but just couldn't convert their chances. Yet, the manner in which Thailand's winning goal was conceded was an unfortunate one. Mistake happens to every player and when it's the defenders or goal keepers, the mistake proved to be rather costly.

However, Adam doesn't want to pin the blame solely on Haziq Nadzli. Instead, he rues the fact that Malaysia couldn't quite manage to fashion the equaliser despite a mammoth effort in the second half.

"We cannot put the blame on any individual. It happened in a split second. We don't expect that to happen and we conceded late in the first half. We gave our all in the second half but luck wasn't with us. We have to accept the defeat," added Adam.

Adam also refused to put the blame on the absence of the Malayan Ultras who were forced to forgo their usual support in protest of the final ticketing fiasco. 

"It's not only Malayan Ultras, everyone can be a supporter. For us, our motivation was still very high. We can still feel the spirit of Malaysia and it didn't impact our game," explained Adam.

For so many of the players, Adam included, they can hold their heads up high for the performance that they have put in since the opening match against Brunei. In any walks of life, to be the best, there will be little trips and fall here and there, this is probably one such moment for the Malaysia Under-22 team.