Monday, December 7, 2009
Boys will be boys!
The Malaysian Under-23 soccer team clearly lacked the maturity and character in their 3-1 loss to Vietnam yesterday.
In the end, Malaysia not only suffered the embarrassment of defeat and virtually ruled themselves out of a semifinals berth, but they further inflicted humiliation with their behaviour after the match.
Korean referee Kim Jong Hyeok had to be escorted by police after the Malaysians players had confronted him after the final whistle.
Team coach, K. Rajagobal apoligised for the behaviour of his players, but the damage has already been done.
They could now face further sanction from the disciplinary committee or even the Asian Football Conferderation (AFC), after a match report is filed by the Match Commissioner and referee.
There was even a picture in the New Straits Times today of Zaquan Adha Abdul Razak, who was red carded in the dying minutes of the game for his second bookable offence, seen in motion hurling a plastic bottle onto the field.
" I am disappointed with the players for the behaviour after the game and I apologise for their unruly show of emotions," said Rajagobal when contacted this morning.
"Several decisions of the referee was questionable including the penalty. The players clearly lost their composure and concentration.
"While I am disappointed with the referee too, but the players should not have let their emotions get the better of them. We also have to be blamed for some silly mistakes in conceding the goals.
"In the end, we have nobody to blame, but ourselves.
"Although I am satisfied with the overall performance of the players, especially in the second half, we did not get the desired result. Even a draw would have been satisfying."
Maybe the Malaysian players should learn something from the Indonesian team who were two goals against Singapore in a Group B match on Friday, but fought back to pull level to share points.
"We have indeed put ourselves in a very difficult position to qualify for the semifinals and the only way we can redeem ourselves is to win both our remaining matches - Cambodia and Thailand, " said Rajagobal.
Rajagobal agreed that it will be a tall order, especially against the Thais, but said that they have put themselves in a spot and now have to bail themselves out.
"The players will have redeem themselves and have to be more disciplined in the game. It is going to be tough, but not impossible."
Indeed, Malaysia have put themselves in corner. They now have to prove that they are no longer boys, but men, and rise to the occasion.
It was good to see that the players wanted a win badly and were committed, but they have to keep check of their emotion and let their play on the field do the talking.
The Malaysian team collected five yellow cards and one red card against Vietnam.
Malaysia play Cambodia tomorrow and their final Group A match against Thailand on Friday.