SHAH ALAM – Malaysia beat Macau 2-0 to keep their hopes alive in the AFC U-23 Championship 2016 in a match at Shah Alam Stadium Sunday night.
Desperate following their 1-2 loss to Vietnam in the opening Group 1 match on Friday, Malaysia went on the offensive from the start.
It paid off when Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim scored from the spot in the 11th minute after a Malaysian player was fouled in the penalty box.
Malaysia’s onslaught on whipping boys Macau continued in the second half with numerous raids.
They were rewarded when Wan Ahmad Amir Zafran Wan Nadris wrapped the match with a well taken goal in the 66th minute.
Speaking to reporters after the match, coach Razip Ismail was dismayed that Malaysia were limited to only two goals by Macau goalkeeper Ho Man Fai.
“Thank God for the three points which means that we can still make the final round.”
Asked about the match against favourites Japan on Tuesday, Razip admitted it will be tough for the Malaysian boys.
Malaysia’s skipper Nazirul Naim Che Hashim also shared similar sentiments.
“We will fight tooth and nail as a win over Japan will help us make the final round,” he added.
Meanwhile, Macau’s head coach, Tam Iao San praised his boys for a good performance despite being out of contention after being whipped 0-7 by Japan in the opening match on Friday.
“This second loss indicates that our team needs to improve but I’m happy that our players gained a good lesson in this tournament.
“The last game against Vietnam on Tuesday will also be tough as they have a lethal striker (Nguyen Cong Phuong) and good defenders,” he added.
Malaysia are banking on Japan to beat Vietnam tonight to secure their place in the final round in Qatar, in Jan 2016.