SHAH ALAM – The Harimau Malaya (national squad) put up a dismal performance and only managed a goalless draw against world 170th-ranked Bangladesh in an international friendly football match at the Shah Alam Stadium here last night.
The presence of almost 4,000 local supporters failed to inspire the home team.
Malaysia kept attacking the Bangladesh goal but failed to find the net in the first half.
In the second half, Harimau Malaya coach Dollah Salleh made five changes in the hope of securing a goal but the Bangladesh defence absorbed the repeated attacks on goal by the Malaysians.
The situation remained goalless until referee Mohd Amirul Izwan Yaacob blew the whistle to end the game.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Dollah said a weak midfield that failed to feed the strikers well was a factor for the goalless draw.
“We lacked in attack but the defence comprising Mohd Afif Amiruddin, Amiridzwan Tak Tajudin and Junior Eldstal seemed too relaxed,” he said.
Bangladesh head coach Lodewijk Darius De Kruif praised his young boys for holding the mighty Malaysian side to the goalless draw.
He pointed out that the positive result was a massive boost for the squad who had a tough task against Asian Cup champions Australia in the 2019 Asian Cup qualifier at the Nib (rpt Nib) Stadium in Perth, Australia, on Sept 3.
“We are happy with tonight’s result and it was important to test out our tactics of play before facing Australia on their own turf,” he said.
“Our team organisation was a bit messy but I was very happy that our boys did not concede any goals against Malaysia,” the Dutchman said.