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Safawi apologises for ‘unpleasant’ goal celebration against Thailand

Kuala Lumpur – National winger Muhammad Safawi Rasid has apologised for the way he celebrated after scoring the goal that saw Malaysia beat Thailand 1-0 in their final Group G match in the second round of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers on Wednesday.

The Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) mainstay, who was also named the country’s Most Valuable Player at the National Football Awards for two straight years in 2018 and 2019, has given an assurance that he would not repeat the “unpleasant” goal celebration.

“Alhamdulillah, grateful and thank you to all the supporters who are always behind us. I apologise for the celebration that was not very pleasant. It will not be repeated, sorry one more time,” he tweeted.

In the match against Thailand, Muhammad Safawi, 24, who took to the field as a second-half substitute, emerged as the hero when he slotted home from the penalty spot to help the Harimau Malaya tame the War Elephants 1-0 at the Al Makhtoum Stadium in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

It was his third goal in the qualifying campaign, having scored a brace in the 2-0 win over Indonesia at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil in November 2019.

However, some fans deemed his behaviour in celebrating the 52nd-minute goal against Thailand as being over the top, especially since he has not been performing up to par so far this season.

Muhammad Safawi had, after scoring, sprinted to the corner flag while pretending to press a keypad before putting his index finger to his lips. — Bernama

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