KUALA LUMPUR – A minute of madness from skipper Safiq Rahim saw Malaysia’s chances of qualifying for the 2019 Asia Cup in United Arab Emirates evaporate at the Hong Kong Stadium last night after losing 0-2 to Hong Kong in an Asia Cup Group B qualifier.
Malaysia who started the match at the bottom of Group B, were reduced to 10-man in the 39th minute when Safiq was given the marching orders by Sri Lankan referee Nivon Robesh Gamini for stomping a player from Hong Kong after losing the ball to the latter’s tackle.
In the match that was telecast live, the home side, parading a number of naturalised players, including Jordi Tarres Paramo from Spain, took a firm control of the match but could not breach the Malaysian defence until four minutes after Safiq’s exit.
Hong Kong who earned a free kick from the right, took the lead in the 43rd minute through Tarr�s P�ramo’s header after Wong Wai had curled in a beautiful freekick into the box, to take a 1-0 half time lead.
Three minutes after the restart, another lapse in defence saw Hong Kong double their advantage when yet another foreign player, Jaimes Anthony McKee from England, headed a cross from Xu Deshuai in the 48th minute to walk out with a 2-0 victory. – Bernama