Malaysia got their 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup campaign off to a positive start with a 1-0 win at Cambodia. In a game characterized by missed opportunities by both teams, it was Norshahrul Idlan’s first-half header that proved to be the difference between the two sides. Fox Sports rates the players on their performances in Game 1 of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup.
Um Vichet – 5
Vichet’s handling was quite sloppy but he did make a few important saves to keep his side in the game. There was nothing he could do to keep out Norshahrul’s effort though and ultimately, his efforts proved futile.
Saret Krya – 4
Krya made an absolute meal of a clearance which almost allowed Malaysia an early goal, but luckily for him, the ball ricocheted off Radzak’s knee and landed in Vichet’s grateful gloves. He had a few adventurous runs down the right-hand side and even got into the box on a few occasions, but like everyone else in his side, lacked the end product.
Hong Pheng – 6
Pheng put in a stunning block in stoppage time to prevent Malaysia from going 2 up, throwing his body on the line for his side. Aside from that, it was a fairly solid performance from the centre-back although he did end up being yellow carded late on.
Soeuy Visal – 5
Visal looked nervous right from the get-go and struggled to keep up with Malaysia’s counters throughout the game.
Chheng Meng – 5
Meng bombed down the left flank as Cambodia piled on the pressure on the Malaysian goal. He did put a few incisive crosses into the box for his strikers, but it was more in hope than anything. He was caught out defensively on numerous occasions and was replaced by Sath Rosib in the 73rd minute.
Sos Suhana – 4
Suhana was tasked with controlling proceedings in the middle of the park. Although he did do that quite effectively early on, his influence on the game faded and he gave the ball away far too often.
Brak Thiva – 5
Thiva found himself in dangerous positions quite often but failed to make the most of them. His crossing was poor, with many sailing well beyond the reach of his attackers. He also struggled to drive at the Malaysian defence like he usually does.
Kouch Sokumpheak – 6
Sokumpheak was energetic in possession as he looked to drive his side forward at every opportunity. He had a great chance to release Bunheing through on goal in the 72nd minute but delayed his pass, which meant his forward had strayed offside.
Chan Vathanaka – 5
With Cambodia peppering the Malaysian goal, for the most part, Vathanaka looked threatening. He had a decent chance in the first half as he drove straight through the heart of the Malaysian defence, however, his touch let him down and the keeper was able to claim. He also had a shot fly agonisingly wide of the far post.
Reung Bunheing – 4
Bunheing missed a glorious opportunity to put his side in the lead as early as the 2nd minute, however, a slip while making contact meant he couldn’t generate enough power in the shot. He also found himself in acres of space early in the second half but miscued a volley horribly. Ultimately, a night to forget for Reung.
Keo Sokpheng – 5
Sokpheng hardly contributed to his side’s attack all night, leaving Bunheing and Vathanaka with all too much to do. Was replaced at halftime.
Thierry Ben – 4
Ben replaced Sokpheng as Cambodia looked for some kind of a spark in the final third, but while he looked lively initially, Ben failed to trouble Fahmi in the Malaysian goal.
Rosib Sath – 3
Sath was brought on for Cheng as Cambodia chased the game, but could not create any goalscoring opportunities for his side
Dani Kouch – 4
Replaced Suhana as Cambodia looked to pressure the Malaysian goal but it was to no effect as Kouch could not influence proceedings whatsoever.
Khairul Fahmi – 5
Fahmi was lucky in the Malaysian goal to escape with a clean sheet. His handling was poor and he fumbled low crosses on numerous occasions only to see them fall at the feet of his defenders much to his relief.
Syazwan Andik Ishak – 5
Ishak trotted forward on occasion but his delivery was poor, his crosses landing beyond the reach of his strikers on most occasions
Shahrul Saad – 6
With Malaysia employing a high line early, Saad and Radzak were often caught unawares with runners in behind. However, Saad did improve as the game wore on and put in a few vital tackles.
Aidil Radzak – 5
Radzak’s poor clearance in the first half almost gifted Cambodia an early goal and he looked shaky at the back right through the game.
Syahmi Safari – 4
Safari did not have a great time of it at the back although he was helped out by some poor play in the final third by Cambodia. He failed to really contribute in attack either, and like Ishak, his final ball was poor.
Syamer Abba – 6
Abba did not get too much of the ball to make an impact at the heart of the midfield and was overrun by Cambodia’s midfield in the first half.
Akram Mahinan – 5
Mahinan was employed at the base of the midfield to shield the back four from the Cambodia onslaught. While he did a fairly decent job of it, he was unable to truly exert his influence of the game, failing to maintain possession of the ball when he got it. His distribution also left a lot to be desired.
Mohamadou Sumareh – 7
Sumareh created the opening for the first goal with a brilliant run right through the heart of the Cambodia defence. He skipped past as many as three challenges before finding Rasid on the flank.
Safawi Rasid – 7
Rasid was a constant threat down the wing with his pace and ability on the ball. It was his backheel that led to Malaysia’s only goal on the night and he also had an effort clatter off the post.
Norshahrul Talaha – 7
Norshahrul scored the only goal of the game with a powerful header into the bottom corner in the first half. He did squander a couple of great chances though, toe-poking wide of the post on one instance and failing to get the ball under control when left unmarked a second time. However, with his goal proving the difference, he will leave a delighted man.
Zaquan Radzak – 6
Radzak looked off color on the night although he did provide the assist for Norshahrul’s goal with an accurate ball into the box. His only other real contribution in the game came when he attempted a spectacular overhead kick a little over the hour mark but ended up connecting with the face of a Cambodia defender, earning himself a booking in the process.
Irfan Zakaria – N/A
Zakaria replaced Mahinan in the 86th minute as Malaysia looked to see out the game.
Ahmad Hazwan – 5
Hazwan replaced Razdak who was on a yellow card with about 20 minutes to play and did a decent job of shepherding his side to victory.
M Fauzi – 5
Fauzi was brought on for the goalscorer Talaha just after the hour mark and did not influence proceeding.
(Photo credit: AFF Suzuki Cup)