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Leaky defence continued to haunt both sides of Causeway...

The crazy scoreline had protruded the leaky defensive woes facing both Singapore and Malaysia in this much-anticipated "Causeway Derby" for the ticket to the group stages of the Asian World Cup Qualification.

"Farra" scored in the 44th minute to make it 3-1 to Singapore
It was virtually a game of two halves with Singapore shackled off the early scare for letting the Malaysians to score in the first minute through dangerman Safee Sali by walloped four goals in reply from Aleksandar Duric, Qiu Li, Fahrudin Mustafic and Shi Jiayi before the end of first half.

Like a friend who said the problem facing the Lions is that they looked lost the moment they were given a commanding lead.

"It just that they don't know what to do next when they are having such a comfortable lead as in whether to defend or attack." said this friend whom I met while on my way home after the game.

Safee Sali's second goal in 71st minute gave the Harimau the much-needed boast.

Timely tackle by Dan Bennett on Safee Sali but his partnership with Safuwan Baharudin in middle of defence looked shaky at time.
It was a worst possible start to the second half when right back Ismail Yunos was given the marching order by referee Nawaf Shukralla of Bahrain for his second yellow card offence in the 55th minute.

With the exit of the Gombak United defender, coach Raddy had to switch Home United's Shi Jiayi from his usual attacking midfield position to replace the void left by Ismail.

(Pictured above) S Kunanlan (16) was a constant threat of the Lions from the left flank
The move seems to benefit the Harimau with the running of the ball by pacey winger S Kunanlan constantly threatened the flank supposedly to be marshalled by Jiayi and eventually had the Malaysians to score two goals in the second period of the game from Hadi Yahaya in the 70th minute and another Safee's strike a minute later.

While Duric's 82nd strike had given us the two-goal margin, but it's still plenty of things for both coach Raddy and his counterpart Datuk K Rajagobal what to figure next when the two meet again on coming Thursday at Bukit Jalil especially when the Malaysians saw their skipper Safiq Rahim sent off as well in 50th minute on a foul on Hariss Harun.


Malaysia coach Datuk K Rajagobal shares his thoughts on the match.
"It was a best start we had into this game, but after that the defence just collapsed and I felt Singapore played the ball more on the flanks and feed in Duric with all the high balls.

"But we came back in the second half after I told my players that we shouldn't concede more goals and had to raise the tempo of the game that they did."

"For me 5-3 is a crazy scoreline that is exciting for crowds and football, but not for me." said Malaysian coach Datuk K Rajagobal.

Coach Raddy looks ahead to the returning leg at Bukit Jalil this coming Thursay
"It was an exciting game that everyone wants to win and I felt that the first half we used more of our head than emotion and the second half, while I expected the Malaysia to attack, but it was a lapse of moment that allowed them to score the two goals." said coach Raddy after the game.

"I think both Daniel (Bennett) and Safuwan (Baharudin) should gain from this game in term of improving the communication of both of them, also I'm glad to see Qiu Li last for almost a full game with Izwan (Mahbud) making some critical saves in the game." added coach Raddy on several aspects of his team performance.



  1. I agree with you. If both sides continue to play like this, I doubt any of us will survive the next round of the world cup qualifier, where the team will be tougher and the defence even harder to penetrate.


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