Thursday, November 12, 2009


Malaysia has never lost to Scotland and today at Invercargill in the World Cup Qualifiers, Malaysia cannot to neither lose nor draw the match.

Any other result then a win will diminish that little flickering hope and aspirations of the Malaysians to make it to New Delhi next year.

And going by the patchy performances, predicting a Malaysian victory is not something that one will do as the Jekyll and Hyde character of the team off late has left even the staunchest of supporters dumbfounded.

For the record, Malaysia last defeated Scotland 1-0, goal courtesy of Mohd Fairus Ramli during an Invitational Tournament held in Dacca in 2001. Prior to that Malaysia recorded two wins during the Intercontinental Cup in Cairo, 2-0 in the group stage and 3-1 in the placing match.

So going by past records Malaysia should be able to beat Scotland. However going by past records we will not be able to qualify to the World Cup. So really records remain mere statistics.

“We have our backs to the wall and nothing less then a win will do,” said coach Tai Beng Hai.

“Scotland are improving as the tournament progresses and we have to be careful not to be over eager to score as that will leave us exposed at the back.

“Defensively we have been a bit frail as at times the defenders make silly mistakes in their haste to preserve our lead as evident in matches against Austria and Wales.

“So it is a question of keeping our composure and being patient throughout the game. If we make use of the chances created, I see no reason why we cannot win the match.”

The reality is that Malaysia does not have depth in terms of players and that has stood up like a sore thumb in the tournament.

There is just so much that coaches Beng Hai and Nor Saiful Zaini can do given the quality of players that they have at Invercargill. When Mohd Madzli Ikmar was injured against New Zealand, Beng Hai had to bring Mohd Razie to play the rightback role and move Jiwa Mohan into the heart of defence to partner Mohd Amin Rahim.

Although Madzli has recovered sufficiently to take the field against Scotland, Beng Hai is likely to opt for Jiwa Mohan in midfield, thus keeping the back four of Razie, Amin, Madzli and Baljit Singh.