OKS proud of Malaysia topping Group E

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INASGOC
Ong Kim Swee couldn't be more proud of his players after they played to instructions in the magnificent 2-1 win over the more fancied South Koreans.

It was a match billed as an easy three pointer for South Korea U23 in the Group E clash against Malaysia U23 but the final outcome proved more than ever than football isn't played on a piece of paper.

The Young Tigers of Malaysia produced a complete and disciplined defensive performance to hand the reigning Asian Games champions their first defeat of the campaign.

A magnificent 2-1 win over South Korea pushed Malaysia to the top of Group E and with six points, also secured their passage into the knockout stage of the 2018 Asian Games.

For head coach Ong Kim Swee, the win is a sweet one as his boys performed as required despite having their backs to the wall for the majority of the match. The experienced Ong paid plenty of tributes to every single one of his boys after the match.

"It was a good result where the boys showed discipline and commitment, even though we didn't play good football. They showed great character to achieve a great result. It showed that in any sports, results can be achieved through determination and hard work." 

"We managed to force Korea to send on Son (Heung-min). Defending the last 10 minutes was the most crucial part. It's a great result not only for the team but for the whole nation," said Ong in the post-match press conference.

Safawi Rasid scored both of Malaysia's goals, one at the start of the match and another just before the stroke of half time. Both times, he benefited from hesistant defending from the Koreans to score what proved to be decisive goals for his team.

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Yet, Ong is extremely proud of the other side of Safawi's game. He, Syafiq Ahmad and Akhyar Rashid had to do more than their fair share of defending and Ong points to the structure being pivotal to Malaysia's win. 

"I told both my flank players that to be a striker in modern football, it's not only a matter of scoring goals. You need to defend and you need to help your team mates. Against a good team, if you don't do that, we can't win. They knew their responsibilities and they did it very well," added Ong.

Malaysia will play their final group match against Bahrain on Monday but with the result against South Korea, are guaranteed of topping the Group and thus Ong may yet decide to give his starting XI a rest ahead of more crucial game against the runners-up of Group D.

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