'Malaysian pitches are better' - Cheng Hoe rues pitch condition after defeat

Malaysia are not playing on matchday four in Group A of the AFF Championship, and their next match is this Saturday's do-or-die clash against Myanmar.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Speaking to the press after his Malaysia charges lost 2-0 in their friendly match against Chinese Taipei, head coach Tan Cheng Hoe admitted that the condition of the pitch affected his team's usual gameplan and performance.

The Taipei Municipal Stadium pitch on Friday was waterlogged throughout the match due to heavy rain, but Harimau Malaya bizarrely kept to their usual short-passing game in the first half. As a result, many of their attacking moves were hampered by the numerous wet patches, and Wu Chun-ching and Chu En-le scored in each half for the hosts.

Fortunately, his charges employed more aerial balls in the second half, and although it did not result in a goal, Malaysia had a bigger percentage of ball possession later in the game.

"We came here to get a positive result, but that did not happen today. We lost due to our own technical mistake, and the team could not play their usual game due to the condition of the pitch.

"I don't want to say it's bad, but it did not allow us to play our normal game. Of course we have rain back home in Malaysia, but our pitches are better than the one we played on today.

"At halftime I told my players that we could not play our normal passing and ball-possession game, I changed things around to employ more long-balls," said the former Kedah boss in response to questions posed by local sports journalists.

He however praised several of Chinese Taipei players, for the quality that they bring to the team in the encounter.

"Chinese Taipei have several players who play in the best leagues in Asia, especially in China, as well as naturalised players.

"That has helped, and this is good for the national team," he remarked.

In three days' time, Malaysia will take on Cambodia in another friendly, in Phnom Penh.

 

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