KUALA LUMPUR – The National squad continued its dismal performance under coach Dollah Salleh after losing 1-3 to Vietnam in an international friendly at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, Sunday.
Malaysia who had taken an early lead had only themselves to blame for the defeat as defender Mohd Muslim Ahmad was shown a red card for rough play, a minute after Vietnam had managed to equalise in the 47th minute.
The host doubled the score via a penalty by Nguyen Van Quyet in the 56th minute after defender Mahalli Jasuli brought down Van Quyet inside the penalty box.
Midfielder, Ngo Hoang Thinh made it 3-1 in the 81st minute after goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat failed to clear the ball in a dangerous situation.
The defeat was the fourth after going down to Tajikistan (1-4) on Aug 8, Indonesia (0-2) on Sept 14 and the Syrian Under-23 squad (0-3) on Wednesday against a 4-1 win against minnows Cambodia on Sept 20.
Malaysia started off well, pushed hard for an early goal and the pressure paid dividends early when Mohd Amri Yahya scored in the 22nd minute after a pass from Norshahrul Idlan Talaha.
Stunned by the goal, the host team tightened their play to find an equaliser but had to wait until the 47th minute to equalise through Mac Hong Quan.
While the equaliser served as a tonic for the Vietnam squad, it was all downhill for the Malaysian team from that moment after being reduced to 10-man when Muslim was given the marching orders.
The match was part of the National team’s preparation for the AFF Suzuki Cup in Singapore on Nov 23-29.
Malaysia, voted in Group B, will open their campaign against Myanmar on Nov 23 and Thailand on Nov 26 at the Jalan Besar Stadium, Singapore before facing Singapore at the National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub, on Nov 29. – Bernama