The Malaysia Under-23 ended their Asian Games Group E on an anti-climax note after they were outclassed 3-2 by their Bahrain counterparts.
The root of the defeat was Malaysia’s inability to take their chances upfront, while ruthlessly exposed time and again in defence.
Here is how the Malaysians fared in their final group game.
Player Ratings (1-10)
Ifwat Akmal (6)– The Kedah shot-stopper was one of the better players in this defeat. Ifwat pulled off big saves throughout the match to prevent Bahrain from a bigger win. Simply let down by his defence.
Adib Zainuddin (5) – The defender came close to extending Malaysia’s lead in the first-half, before being robbed in possession which led to the Bahrain equalizer.
Adam Nor Azlin (5.5) – Was decent at the heart of the defence. Adam played the high line at times, but recovered well to make up ground. Produced a fine sliding tackle to deny a certain Bahrain goal in the second half.
Tommy Mawat (5.5) – The PJ Rangers winger gave Malaysia depth on the left and some of his low crosses was begging for a finish. But Tommy did not provide enough cover for Syazwan Zaipol Bahari.
Syazwan Zaipol Bahari (3.5) – The Bahrain forwards targeted Syazwan as the weakest link, and created almost all their attacking chances on the right channel. Syazwan was poor and struggled to adapt to the pace of the game.
Baddrol Bakhtiar (5) – Looked lethargic and was overran in midfield at times. But credit to the captain, who made up for it with his intelligent short and long diagonal passes.
Faisal Halim (4.5) – Was wasteful with possession, and looked to be turning in circles instead of taking a direct route. Substituted for Akhyar early in the second half.
Syahmi Safari (6.5) – Gave Malaysia a first-half lead through an exquisite half-volley. Syahmi gave the team an extra bite going forward, and his runs on the right wing meant Bahrain always had to be wary.
Nik Akif Syahiran (5) – This was the teenager’s chance to impress, but he would have left the match thinking he could have done better. Should have cleared the header from Hamad Al-Hamsan for Bahrain’s second goal.
R.Kogileswaran (4.5) – Spurned two glorious chances in either half that would have drawn Malaysia level. Kogileswaran’s pace and energy was evident, but was let down by his finishing touch.
Hadi Fayyadh (4.5) – The lanky striker didn’t have much possession to cause any threat upfront. Had one chance to steer home in the second half after Kogileswaran fluffed his shot, but couldn’t.
Akhyar Rashid (for Faisal Halim 57’) (6) – His energy and direct running gave Malaysia a bigger threat than Faisal. Was fouled in the final minute for the penalty which Safawi Rasid buried home.
Rodney Celvin (for Adam Nor Azlin 64’) (4.5) – Couldn’t do much to stop Bahrain. Rodney was quite sloppy in possession and hasty in his clearances.
Safawi Rasid (for R.Kogileswaran 78’) (6) – His impact was understandably minimal, but Safawi ended the game with another goal to his name from the penalty spot.
Photo Credit: FAM