SUPER STRIIKE: Norshahrul Idlan Talaha scores for Malaysia against Bahrain in an AFC Asian Cup qualifying match. Picture by KAMARUL AKHIR (KA)/Sports247.myMALAYSIA kept their 2015 Asian Cup hopes alive as they held fancied Bahrain 1-1 in the Group D qualifier at Shah Alam Stadium.
Datuk K. Rajagobal’s side still sit third in the standings, but the point could be crucial as Malaysia’s realistic shot of gaining entry to the continental tournament is via the best third-placed team in qualification. Malaysia hold advantage over Iraq by a point. The Iraqis play Saudi Arabia later today.
Malaysia could walk with their heads high as they held their own against the physically bigger Arabs. Had there had been more options up front, a Malaysia win wouldn’t have been far-fetched.
The absence of Wan Zack Haikal and Mahalli Jasuli on the right flank was telling as the team lacked creativity moving forward and had to rely on S. Kunanlan’s penetrating runs on the left.
Credit is due as the Tigers came into the second half with high spirits, despite Abdulla Ahmed Saleh Abdulla Aman’s first half stoppage time goal.
Malaysia appeared more positive as they sought to salvage the match and it paid off in the 70th minute after Norshahrul Idlan Talaha put the ball past Sayed Mohamed Jaafar.
The teams will play the return fixture on Nov 15