Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Football: Skipper rues missed chances

BADDROL Bakhtiar sought to lead by example and very nearly became Malaysia's match hero as the much-hoped for win to crown his debut as skipper came to nothing in Jakarta yesterday. The Kedah forward was Malaysia's most dangerous player in the 0-0 draw with Singapore in the opening Sea Games Group A match at the Gelora Bung Karno.

Three times he had Singapore goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud scrambling to save his free-kicks and on another occasion fired a first-time effort just wide.

"It's frustrating not to have scored but I don't believe I am the only one capable of getting a goal. All the forwards in this team can score and we'll show it in our coming games," said the defiant Baddrol.
"We can't be disappointed with a draw against Singapore because we've given it our 100 per cent. It will be a big challenge in our next games but we'll certainly be doing our best again."

Malaysia face Thailand, who will be playing their first match, tomorrow and the quick turnaround does not faze Baddrol.

"Thailand will be playing their first game and it is our second so they've got a bit of an advantage. We won't have much time to recover but we've got a physical trainer with us and we will be ready," added Baddrol, who was one of four players yesterday who started in the 1-0 final win over Vietnam in 2009.

Malaysia will also have to watch out for indiscipline as Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim and Irfan Fazail were fortunate not to be sent off yesterday.

Syahrul, already on a yellow card, clipped a Singapore player from behind after the ball had gone out of play and was given a stern talking-to by the referee while Irfan aimed a punch at Navin Neil Vanu in retaliation but missed and escaped sanction.

Read more: NST

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