Malaysia make it 11 games without victory after a 2-2 draw at home to Mongolia in Tan Cheng Hoe’s first game as head coach.
Malaysia’s winless run stretched to 11 games after the home side could only manage a poor 2-2 draw against Mongolia at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Thursday.
The last time the Harimau Malaya triumphed was in November 2016, and this result was a deserved one given their lack of imagination and endeavor against their part-timers opponents.
Malaysia started off well enough and Safawi Rasid was first to have a crack at goal, which Mongolia custodian Munkh-Erdene Enkhtaivan did well to beat away.
The forward’s effort spurred the home side on and Mahali Jasuli wasted an opportunity shortly after by blazing over the bar from a good position.
Malaysia eventually made their pressure count after Mongolia captain Turbat Daginaa could only deflect Ahmad Hazwan Bakri’s flicked header into his own net just after the half-hour mark.
But as they have done in the past, Malaysia did not attempt to build on their lead and were complacent in defence.
As a result, they conceded three minutes before the break when a slip from Fadhli Shas allowed Enkhbileg Purevdorj through on goal.
There was still work to do with Haziq Nadzli rushing off his line, but the Mongolian forward did well to lob the Malaysian goalkeeper and make it 1-1.
INTERNATIONAL “A” MATCH | 22ND MARCH 2018
Gankhuyag Ser-Od-Yanjiv 70’
MALAYSIA [2-2] MONGOLIA pic.twitter.com/Sf1Z9NPZrt
— FA Malaysia (@FAM_Malaysia) March 22, 2018
Malaysia needed someone to up the ante in the second period and Tan Cheng Hoe was spot on in his substitution to introduce Akhyar Rashid for a tired Mahali.
After running at the Mongolian defence on both flanks, the young debutant restored Malaysia’s lead with a deflected effort in the 65th minute.
The goal was certainly deserved for Akhyar who was intent to turn the game in Malaysia’s favour with his pace and direct approach.
But six minutes later, Mongolia were given another lifeline as they forced another equalizer through Gabkhuyag Ser-Od-Yanjiv.
The midfielder’s soft free-kick should have been easily gathered by Haziq, but the goalkeeper was late to react and the ball crept in at the near post.
Fadhli Shas thought he had given Malaysia the lead for the third time in the 78th minute, but the defender saw his glancing header bounce off the post to safety.
Wan Zack Haikal was the next to smash the bar with a freekick, but it was all Malaysia could muster as they slumped to yet another disappointing result.
Malaysia: Haziq Nadzli (GK), Matthew Davies, Fadhli Shas, Adam Nor Azlin, Safiq Rahim (C), Ahmad Hazwan Bakri (Syafiq Ahmad 80′), Safawi Rasid, Afiq Fazail, Natxo Insa, Fazly Mazlan, Mahali Jasuli (Akhyar Rashid 45′)
Mongolia: Munkh-Erdene Enkhtaivan (GK), Munkh-Orgil Orkhon, Turbat Daginaa (C), Sundorj Janchiv, Gabkhuyag Ser-Od-Yanjiv, Tugsbileg Batbold, Oyunbaatar Otgonbayar, Enkhbileg Purevdorj, Davaajav Battur, Munkh-Erdene Tsagaantsooj, Tsedenbal Norjmoo