Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia concluded their Tier 1 international friendly tour in Jordan with another disastrous outing, losing 1-5 to Uzbekistan, yesterday.
Harimau Malaya clearly failed to keep up with the dizzy tempo of Uzbekistan when their players ran over all the defence to find the net five times in a match at Amman International Stadium in Jordan.
A pass from defender, Farrukh Sayfiev from the left of the field was clinically slotted in by Dostonbek Khamdamov to put his team 1-0 ahead in the 17th minute.
The squad under Slovenian coach, Srecko Katanec continued to strike at the Malaysian goal and Dostonbek who was unguarded easily headed in the second goal in the 29th minute.
Four minutes later, Uzbekistan’s Farrukh charging from left side the Malaysian half sent a pass to Khusayin Norchaev who neatly tucked the ball in with a header for a 3-0 lead.
However, the national squad’s efforts to put pressure on Uzbekistan paid off when an attempt by Mohamad Faisal Abdul Halim hit the post on the left of the opponent’s goal but the ball bounced and landed at the feet of Baddrol Bakhtiar who scored the country’s first goal in the first minute of the first half injury time.
The rivalry at the beginning of the second half saw national goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat playing brilliantly to block two dangerous attempts by Uzbekistan, one through a header by Otabek Shukurov in the 55th minute and a powerful shot by AS Roma striker Eldor Shomurodov two minutes later.
However, the fast attacking campaign of the world’s 84th team paid off and it was the turn of reserve player, Ibrokhimkhalil Yuldoshev, who took advantage of a melee involving team captain Jaloliddin Masharipov, to score his country’s fourth goal in the 67th minute.
The team under Tan Cheng Hoe got their best attempts at goal in the 81st minute but Syafiq Ahmad’s curling shot hit the goalkeeper before Azizbek Amanov pushed in Uzbekistan’s fifth goal in the 88th minute and the position remained until the end of the match.
On Wednesday, Malaysia, who are ranked 154th, were beaten 0-4 by Jordan, ranked 93rd in the world, in a match at the King Abdullah II Stadium in Amman.
The national squad will compete for the AFF Cup 2020 title scheduled to take place in Singapore this December, before continuing to hunt for a slot to the finals of the 2023 Asian Cup in the third round of the qualifying campaign next year. — Bernama