Malaysia national team, start by win after beat Philippines 2-0 in the FAS Tri-Nation Series 2022 at Singapore national stadium, Kallang.
The ability to beat the team ranked 129th in the world not only increased the morale of the national players, but it also ended the 15-year wait of the Malayan Tigers squad to beat the opponent.
Apart from Safiq Rahim who was re -assigned to head the central machinery, Dion Cools was placed at right back. The position is seen as more dominant for this hybrid player.
Akhyar Rashid proved that the lack of minutes of the game at the domestic level did not directly interfere with his performance when he managed to open the scoring as early as the third minute of the game.
The quick goal came from a beautiful pass by Corbin-Ong into the penalty area which allowed Akhyar to deceive Enrique Linares and then he fired a shot that beat the goalkeeper, Neil Etheridge.
The desire of the national players to add a goal increased two minutes later when they got two consecutive attempts in the penalty area.
However, Syafiq Ahmad’s shot after receiving a beautiful pass from Cools just stopped at the goal post when Etheridge had already lost, while R. Kogileswaran’s follow -up attempt was saved by the opponent’s defense above the goal line.
The national squad camp once again jumped for joy in the 24th minute after Akhyar completed the blocked opportunity following a quick counter-attack started by Safiq Rahim for the 23-year-old to widen his position.
Akhyar almost completed a hat-trick late in the first half but his attempt when he was in good control of the ball in the penalty area went wide to the right of the goal.
In addition to convincing the attacking machinery in the first half, the defensive line led by Shahrul Mohd Saad and Khuzaimi Piee also looked solid in absorbing the Filipino pressure.
Although the action in the second half was not very popular with the fans, especially for the national squad following the inclusion of Liridon Krasniqi who replaced Safiq Rahim, but both teams were seen working hard to change their position.
It was clearly witnessed when Arif Aiman Hanapi’s shot in the penalty area was deflected out of Etheridge. Meanwhile, Patrick Reichelt got the best chance following Syamer Kutty Abba’s forgetfulness, but the shot by the former Melaka United import was denied by Farizal Marlias.
Akhyar Rashid’s two goals in the first half remained to give a meaningful victory for the national squad and thus be a useful tonic ahead of the next action against Singapore.
Credit Photo : FAM.org.my