KUALA LUMPUR (12 June 2012) – ASEAN champions Malaysia scored a 2-0 win over arch rivals Singapore in the second game of the series here at the Shah Alam Stadium in a match that was also marred by the red card on Singapore midfielder Mustafic Fahrudin in the second half.
In the first game of the series last week at the Jalan Besar Stadium, both teams had to settle for a 2-2 draw following a late fight back from the Lions.
“I am proud of the performance of the players and it is a follow up from the match last week,” said K. Rajagobal, the chief coach of Malaysia. “We controlled the match, we were aggressive, attack minded and we pressed Singapore. We hope to maintain consistency as we look to be on the right track for the AFF Suzuki Cup later this year.”
But this time round, the Malaysians showed that they have made the right progress in preparation for the AFF Suzuki 2012 when they shackled players like Qiu Li and Aleksandr Duric to prevent Singapore from making a comeback late in the game.
Malaysia had taken the lead in the 19th minute through Shakir Ali when he headed in the cross from Norshahrul Idlan Talaha from the left. Duric then had a good chance for the equalizer two minutes later but his grounder was blocked by keeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat. The score at the half was 1-0 to Malaysia.
Following Shakir’s missed header in the 55th minute, Malaysia then grabbed their second goal of the game off Safiq Rahim seven minutes later, when he drove a 20metre freekick into the Singapore goal.
The loss of Mustafic to a red card for a tackle from behind on Norshahrul gave Malaysia the advantage as they continued to press the visitors. But attempts from striker Safee Sali, who came in as substitute later, as well as from the hardworking K. Gurusamy failed to change the score line.
In the meantime, the Philippines had little trouble in disposing Guam 3-0 in the friendly that was played at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City. All goals for the home team came in the first half of the game.
Angel Guirado (pix) was on target in the seventh minute with a curling shot before Carli de Murga doubled the lead for the Philippines five minutes later. Guirado then sealed the win for the Philippines just before the break when he made good on a cross from Dennis Cagara.
The win was the Philippines’ first in three matches after being held to a scoreless draw by Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur and then a 2-2 draw by Indonesia in Manila the previous week.