BANGKOK: Malaysia suffered an embarrassing defeat on the opening day of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) futsal tournament at the Hua Mak Indoor Stadium here yesterday.
They were beaten 2-3 by Cambodia in a Group B match. The defeat is a major surprise because they had thrashed the same Cambodian side 9-2 in the AFC qualifying round match in Kuantan barely 12 days ago.
Malaysia made it to the AFC Finals in Uzbekistan (May 21-27) with their strong showing to finish as group winners.
Chief coach P. Balakrishnan said that the players paid the price for under-estimating their opponents.
“There was perhaps the sense that Cambodia would be easy meat,” he said.
“I have told them that no team should be treated lightly and we paid the price for not sticking to that rule today. Cambodia played their hearts out and with a lot more passion.”
Malaysia led through captain Mohd Saiful Mohd Noor in the 13th minute but Hot Sotitya drew level for Cambodia two minutes later. San Sophana put Cambodia in front in the 23rd minute but Addie Azwan Zainal equalised in the 37th minute. Sotitya scored the winner for Cambodia a minute later.
“Now we have to win our next match against Vietnam tomorrow (today) to stay in contention for a place in the semi-finals,” said Balakrishnan.
Cambodian manager Prak Sovannara said: “We expected to lose by one or two goals. But we won. This is a bonus.”
Group B: Cambodia 3 Malaysia 2; Vietnam 3 Indonesia 6. Group A: Brunei vs Myanmar.
Group B: Cambodia vs Indonesia; Vietnam vs Malaysia.