It was a case of the Malaysian Tigers losing their fangs, as the visiting Lions of Singapore pounced and stunned the defending champions 3-0 at AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 Group B match. The result pushes the Harimau Malaya to the bottom of Group B, after another Group B duel between Indonesia and Laos ended in a 2-2 draw.
The Malaysian side, spearheaded by national head coach Datuk K. Rajagopal, now needs to win the next two remaining matches to stay in the competition.
The visitors proved the livelier side and certainly one with more urgency, as the Harimau Malaya failed to find its rhythm.
Defensive errors, observed also in unimpressive international friendlies recently, proved to be the undoing of the Malaysian side. Two goals by Shahril Ishak in either half, and a 75th minute header by substitute Aleksandar Duric sealed a convincing victory for the jubilant Singapore side.
Not even Khairul Fahmi’s godly hands could deny the routing.
It isn’t quite over yet, but all of us do hope that the Harimau Malaya finds its rhythm and shows its true colours, just as they did two years ago. The Malaysians lost their first game 1-5 to Indonesia, only to come back stronger and better to emerge as eventual winners of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010.