Syahrul (right) started the game against Thailand, but couldn't find the net.
SINGAPORE: Luck has run out for national Under-23 striker Mohd Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim.
The nippy Harimau Muda forward, who struck the goal for a 1-0 win against host Indonesia to put Malaysia through to the semi-finals in the 2011 SEA Games, admitted that they are now “not good enough to reclaim the gold medal”.
“We tried our best but it wasn’t good enough ... it’s not our rezeki this year,” said a dejected Syahrul after their 1-0 Group B loss to Thailand.
“Everyone gave 100% commitment during the match but we just couldn’t find the breakthrough.
“This year’s preparation was a bit short. To build a strong team, you need a longer time but that’s not the reason we lost. We have to admit that we were beaten by a strong Thai team.”
Syahrul was given the tough role of leading the Malaysian attack alone up front in the 4-5-1 formation in their must-win Group B match at the Bishan Stadium.
The Tanah Merah-local earned a spot in the starting line-up after coming on as a second-half substitute to score the consolation goal in Malaysia’s embarrassing 5-1 loss to Vietnam on Tuesday.
But the 22-year-old could not find the back of the net. Thai skipper Sarach Yoo Yen was the hero, netting the winner in the 80th minute.
Syahrul had a good chance to put Malaysia ahead but his curling shot in the 58th minute was tipped away by Thai goalkeeper Chanin Sae-Ear.
With the defeat, Malaysia’s hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals has gone up in smoke. The result has virtually shut out Malaysia’s chances of qualifying for the semi-finals as fancied Thailand and Vietnam are now the frontrunners to win the two slots from the group.
Malaysia are in fourth spot with three points while Thailand and Vietnam have nine points each.