Malaysia came close to giving their fans a memorable night at the Bukit Jalil Stadium on Thursday, as they took the lead against group favorites UAE within a minute of the first whistle. However, a brace from Ali Mabkhout saw the visitors emerge with all three points. Football Tribe Malaysia’s Amin Anas looks at five takeaways for Harimau Malaya after this result:
Ocean of Supporters
Tonight's match saw over 43,000 fans attend the game at Bukit Jalil National Stadium in support of the national squad. Despite failing to record the victory, cheers and applause should be commended for faithfully motivating the national team to face the United Arab Emirates.
Tan Cheng Hoe made one change with Mohamadou Sumareh back in his position from the start. Sumareh, who had replaced Hadin Azman in a previous meeting with Indonesia, helped the country to record their first victory over Indonesia. His movements during the match managed to break the defences of the UAE squad but fail to record the second win.
The Malaysian Football Association (FAM) has provided a special place for Ultras Malaya to honor their efforts as they traveled to faithfully cheer on the national squad at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium. They were in full force once again, and continue to give Malaysia a boost both at home and on the road.
Malaysia was frustrated by striker Ali Makhbout, who scored two goals for the UAE. His first goal came at the end of the first half and his second goal came in the 75th minute after Shahrul Saad failed to clear the ball and gave Makhbout an easy chance to score.
Last-Minute Drama Again
After going 2-1, Tan Cheng Hoe's side fought to find an equalizer by putting Syamer Kutty, J Parthiban and Akyar Rashid to replace Sumareh, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, and Syafiq Ahmad. Hope was provided by the energetic Malaysian attack, as they went out in search of a late equalizer. But the UAE's strong defense clearly denied any opportunity for TCH's men to collect a point.