| VIENTIANE (7 Dec 2009) – Malaysia have little choice but to win their next two matches following their 3-1 loss to Vietnam in a crucial Group A tie last night.
The Malaysians, who were involved in an ugly scuffle with South Korean referee Kim Jong Hyeok towards the end of the match when striker Mohd Zaquan Adha Radzak was sent off, will take on Cambodia tomorrow and then Thailand on 11 Dec.
“We have to accept the fact that we lost and now we have no choice but to win our next two matches (against Cambodia and Thailand) if we want to get to the next stage,” said head coach K. Rajagobal.
“I thought we played well and deserved a draw as we controlled the second half and pushed Vietnam back. The penalty threw the players off but the second and third goals were our fault.”
The Malaysians had protested against several decisions by Jong Hyeok including the awarding of a penalty to Vietnam early in the game which led to the first goal.
And with them unable to change the 3-1 score line in the second-half, their frustrations grew physical when Jong-hyeok sent off Zaquan Adha for two yellow card offences deep in injury time.
Rajagobal apologised for the misbehaviour of his players.
“The free-for-all started when Zaquan was sent off as emotions were running high,” added Rajagobal.
“I told the players they should not have done that which was why I ran to the pitch to defuse the situation. I could have said something to the referee myself but I apologised to him.
“These are young players and they are very emotional, two of them were crying after the game but the referee’s decisions frustrated the players especially the penalty which caused them to lose concentration.”