KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — The Harimau Malaysia’s fangs were rather blunt in the Class A international friendly against the Philippines at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila tonight.
Nevertheless, Malaysia were lucky to escape with a goalless draw against the ‘The Azkals’ thanks to the heroics of keeper Mohd Khairul Azhan Mohd Khalid and the defenders.
Philippines, who are ranked 124th in the world, dominated the first half but Malaysia took the fight to them in the second after coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee made some substitutions and tactical changes.
However, both sides for all they could muster, could not get the ball in the net.
Malaysia, ranked 161st now, last won against the once South-east Asian minnows in 2007.
“Well, I believe it’s always tough to play against the Philippines. I think this game serves the purpose for us and I think it’s a fair result.
“We wanted to win but you know the Philippines have improved tremendously in the past few years, based on their ranking they are much better than us and to get a point away from home for us is a valuable point,” was what Kim See had to say after the match.
The friendly was part of the preparations of the national squad for the third-round qualifiers or the 2019 Asian Cup.
Malaysia are drawn in Group B along with North Korea, Hong Kong and Lebanon. — Bernama