Kalin accepts defeat to Malaysia but laments field of play

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The Swede categorically said that the better team won on the day but matters did not help by a sub-standard pitch used for the international friendly.

It was a shock to the system for Nepal from two key aspects during the match. The storming manner in which Malaysia started the game petrified the visiting side as they camped within their penalty box for a large period of the first half as Harimau Malaysia went seeking for the early goal.

To make matters worse for Johan Kalin's side, they also had to content with a very bad pitch at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium. Both he and Tan Cheng Hoe are in agreement that the field was not cared for very well and did not suit the standard required at this level.

"The result is not so much to say about because it was a tough game for us. The first 10 minutes was really really really tough. It might be the hardest 10 minutes I've ever had in my career. Then after that the players worked themselves into the game. We still got dominated in the game and we had no clue at the start. 

"We had big problems with the pitch. We couldn't handle the ball in a good way. It's always tough to concede on set pieces but all in all, Malaysia deserved the goals the way they play. The players fought hard but the reality is that Malaysia were stronger than us," said Kalin after the match.

The defeat to a lower rank opponent in a Tier 1 international friendly are likely to cost Nepal valuable points in the FIFA rankings but they have an immediate chance to rectify that in the next friendly match against Chinese Taipei.

Kalin will be hoping that for that match, striker Bimal Rana will get far more support than he got during the difficult encounter against Malaysia where he was left cutting a lonesome figure in the attack as Nepal did most of the defending throughout the 90 minutes.

 

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