Malaysian CDM rips into football team after heavy defeat
The Malaysia football players are dejected after losing their group match 5-1 to Vietnam at the SEA Games in Singapore on Tuesday. S.S.KANESAN/ The STAR
SINGAPORE: Malaysian chef de mission Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria has slammed the national Under-23 football team for their 5-1 hammering by Vietnam in the SEA Games on Tuesday.
The Group B defeat for Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s men – at the Bishan Stadium – is their second heaviest loss in SEA Games history.
Malaysia were thrashed 6-0 by Indonesia in the 1999 Brunei SEA Games.
Tuesday’s loss has left Malaysia’s hopes of reclaiming the title they won in 2011 in tatters.
Malaysia had opened their Group B campaign with a slim 1-0 win over Timor Leste last Saturday.
Norza said that Malaysians “deserved” a better showing from Kim Swee’s side.
“Even in our opening game against Timor Leste, we did not look like a team capable of playing to win the gold medal,” said a disappointed Norza after hosting the Malaysian media to breakfast on Wednesday.
“The players must realise the high expectations heaped on football ... 70% of the news written in the media back home is about football. So, Malaysians deserve better!”
Norza called on the team to regroup ahead of the crucial match against Thailand on Thursday.
A win against the Thais can put them back on track to securing one of the two semi-final berths from the group.
“It’s still not too late ... the door is not totally shut,” said Norza.
“Let’s move on and not dwell on the defeat. Take heed of the lessons, get back to the drawing board and find out where things went wrong. If we can beat Thailand, it’s game on again.”
Norza also confirmed that midfielder Mohd Nazmi Faiz Mansor will be sent home immediately for spitting at a Timor Leste player on Saturday.