| YANGON (Sept 7, 2007) – Two quick goals late in the first half was enough to help Malaysia secure an opening victory over Indonesia in the AFF Women’s Championship at the Youth Training Centre Stadium today.
Although the Malaysians were in the driver’s seat throughout the first half, it was only in the dying minutes that they managed to breach the Indonesian defence. And when they finally broke through, they scored two goals within a space of just four minutes.
Atin Surang provided Malaysia with the first goal when her shot deflected off an Indonesian defender in the 41st minute while Zaryatie Zakaria doubled the score just before the whistle went.
Three points from today’s game has created the chance for the young Malaysian side to dream of making the semifinals. With two more matches against Vietnam and the Philippines, Malaysia certainly stands a good chance of making the cut.
“We had a good first half but the girls lacked concentration after the break, it could have been due to fatigue or some injuries. Still, I was satisfied with them, especially when we did not have much time or players to prepare,” said Mohd Shah Norbit, the Malaysian coach.
It was Malaysia all the way in the first half, they called the shots and were camped in the Indonesian half. But the Indonesian defenders worked hard and chased down the Malaysian strikers who as a result were unable to get their shots in.
And even when they did, Indonesian keeper Dorthe Kristina Rollo was there to save the day. Dorthe however could do nothing and watched helplessly as she was beaten by a deflected shot from Atin Surang in the 41st minute. The Malaysian unleashed a solid shot that struck Konstantina Deda and turned towards goal.
Indonesia suffered a second blow just four minutes later when Zaryatie Zakaria pounced on a rebound off the crossbar to easily place the ball in the goal.
After the break, players from both sides appeared tired and were not able to move as quickly as they did earlier in the game. Indonesia began to create some moves and even had some shots but failed to find the mark.
Malaysia came closest in the last 10 minutes but Zaryatie’s shot went just wide and the score remained at 2-0 until the end.
“Our preparations were simply not enough, we only had a week to train before heading out to Myanmar. We have a lot of work ahead of us and hope to improve as the tournament goes on,” said Indonesian coach, Henky Yan Rumere.
MALAYSIA: Nur Atiqa Lilia Abdullah, Zaryatie Zakaria, Rozeinie Dusileh, Saidatul Nabila Sani, Elizabeth Oyau, Steffi Sarge Kaur, Malini Nordin, Angela Kais (c), Normasyirah Zahari, Atin Surang, Nur Akmal Anuar
INDONESIA: Dorthe Kristina Rollo, Ludia Ohee, Dopimina Kogoya, Katrina Wakur, Konstantina Deda (c), Novennina Bahabol, Jenny Merlin Yansip, Astri Marice Ohee, Lenora Deda, Doris, Maesaroh
Caption: The Indonesians players are in red