BURIRAM – Malaysia’s campaign in the Asian Cup Qualifying ended in humiliating fashion when they suffered another 1-4 drubbing at the hands of a more technically coordinated North Korean side at the i-mobile Stadium, here, tonight.
The defeat was the second by North Korea in three days following Friday’s 1-4 defeat at the same venue.
Under pressure Malaysian head coach Nelo Vingada made several changes in the starting line-up, leaving several familiar faces on the bench and opted for youth in his effort to avoid another defeat.
Among the most notable absentee for tonight’s match was Fadhli Shas, who captained the national side last Friday and S. Kunanlan who is still nursing an injury.
Safiq Rahim who is available for tonight’s match after serving a one-match suspension during the match against Hong Kong was also sidelined, although he was expected to make a comeback.
Malaysia started the match aggressively and put the North Koreans under pressure with tight marking but their positive attitude quickly fizzled out as Jorn Andersen’s men stamped their authority.
The bigger and stronger North Koreans continued to pressure the Malaysian defence and through a corner in the 15th minute, shot into the lead when striker Kim Yu Song headed the ball into the net.
Five minutes later, Song doubled his tally when he nudged a ball into Malaysia’s gaping goal also from a corner and added his third in the 44th minute to put his country 3-0 in the lead and complete his hattrick.
Staring at his seventh defeat since his appointment as the national coach last May, Vingada make several changes in the second half by putting in more experienced players like Fadhli Shas and Safiq Rahim as well as winger Safawi Rasid.
The changes did not make much of a difference with the North Koreans adding their fourth goal in the 78th minute through Park Kwang Ryong, while Safawi ensured Malaysia did not go back empty handed with a consolation goal in the 85th minute. — Bernama