Saturday, November 7, 2009


The outcome of the match between Malaysia and Austria could have been different had the Malaysians capitalised on the chances that came their way.

In particular the two attempts by Azlan Misron and Mohamad Razie after Malaysia had taken a 2-0 lead would have changed the entire complexion of the match. But that was not to be as the players cracked under pressure and conceded two goals in the second half to drop two vital points in their opening World Cup Qualifying match at Invercargill today.

Coach Tai Beng Hai conceded that things will be tougher after the draw but there were lessons to be learned from the match and hopes that his players will not panic and try to preserve a lead for attack is the best form of defence.

"We had our chances and failed to make use of them, and that in a nutshell sums up our match today," said Beng Hai.

"The presence of mind when presented with a goal scoring chance is not something that all players posses and this comes through trial and error.

"I believe that the players that missed the chances today will be wiser after this experience and will be able to make the chamces count if the opportunity arose again."

Beng Hai said that by dropping to help the defence, the forwards and midfielders put unnecessary pressure on the defence and it was never his game plan to defend the lead.

"Looking at the positive side, we created the chances but failed to make them count, and this is something we hope to overcome against Wales tomorrow," said Beng hai.

One of the areas that Beng Hai has to correct is conceding of penalty corners as Austria were awarded seven penalty corners as opposed to Malaysia's three. And it was from a penalty corner that Austria denied Malaysia of a winning start.

Beng Hai started of with Kumar in goal, Madzli, Jiwa, Baljit and Amin marshalling the defence. In midfield Kelvinder, Shukri and Shahrun Nabil were fielded with Razie, Azlan and Tengku Ahmad in the attack.

Some changes are expected in the match against Wales tomorrow but Beng Hai who had an hour long meeting with his players opted to keep the cards close to his chest.

But he knows very well that failure to win against Wales would mean that Malaysia's challenge could well end before it got started.

And Beng Hai and his players look determined to make amends against Wales.