Sunday, December 19, 2010
Vietnam v Malaysia 0-0
Make no mistake this was a superb performance by Malaysia. But it also highlighted Viet Nam’s frailities in front of goal as they huffed and puffed then gave the ball comfortably to Malaysian keeper Khairul Famri.
Beating Myanmar 7-1 is one thing but Viet Nam, highly fancied by many, have since struggled against the Philippines, lost 2-0, Singapore, won 1-0, and these two semi finals against Malaysia. Their return fom those four games? Just one win and one goal scored.
I guess the Vietnamese will start finger pointing now but I wonder how much of a miss was their star striker Le Cong Vinh?
But enough of Viet nam, this is all about Malaysia. Their coach Rajagobal should now be a leading candidate to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. Or at least get himself appointed defensive coach there. Tonight his team, especially the defense, were immense in front of sustained wave after wave of Vietnamese pressure down the flanks and through the middle.
For a young team, subjected to such a torrid night in such a volatile atmosphere, not to crack showed an immense maturity that bodes well for Malaysia’s future dominance of South East Asian football.
Viet Nam had a player red carded for diving, Malaysia could have nicked it at the end but now it doesn’t matter. Malaysia are in the final with the first leg being played at the Bukit Jalil on 26 December against either Indonesia or the Philippines.
There will be a new name on the ASEAN Football Federation Cup in 2010 and who’s to say it won’t be Rajagobal’s boys?