TCH praise team's single-mindedness in win over old rivals

Thirty minutes of football had already been played and with Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in full voice, Malaysia were already trailing a goal behind to Alberto Goncalves' strike early on and signs did not look promising for Cheng Hoe. Known for his complete faith in his players to plug away, the Malaysian head coach decided to change tack.

Mohamadou Sumareh was brought on after the half hour mark to add spice to Malaysia's attack and he did it with devastating effect. Just a minute into his introduction for Hadin Azman, the Pahang player ran onto Nor Azam Azih's through pass to calmly beat Andritany Ardhiyasa to make it 1-1. 

What that substitution did was not only to dampen the confidence of the Indonesia side but also ensured that they had to be more wary of their defensive side, which meant the home side dropping deeper and deeper to contain Malaysia. On top of that, it calmed the boys down and sparked the win.

Shahrul Saad, Indonesia v Malaysia, 2022 World Cup qualifier, 5 Sep 2019

"We were nervous coming here. It was an amazing performance, especially in the second half where my boys were really focus. I want them to focus on football only. This is one of the best performance and hopefully we can keep this performance against UAE.

"Its my first time making an early change. But using Sumareh was to give us more attacking threat and so it proved. We know these players are still young and I’m sure the players learn a lot from this experience. But they need consistent football at the top level.

"After the first half, we identified our mistakes. We made our changes and fought until the end to get a good result. I have to praise the commitment from the players to get this 3 points. It’s definitely a good start for us. Before we come here, I’ve adviced the players that whatever happened here, we just focus on football. Security matters we can only leave to PSSI and FAM," said Cheng Hoe in his post-match press conference.

Indonesia v Malaysia, 2022 World Cup qualifier, 5 Sep 2019

What happened midway through the second half when Indonesian supporters broke out from their seats in an attempt to reach Malaysian fans caused the match to be stopped for a sustained period of time. A flare, multiple water bottles as well as other materials were being thrown in the direction of the away section.

Seeing all that from the centre of the stadium and on the pitch, not knowing for sure what could happen next, it was remarkable that Malaysia were the side that continued to keep their composure while the Indonesian team faltered. 

Sumareh once again popped up with the goal that turned out to be the winner in the last minute of the eight added due to the crowd trouble. Three points on the board from what was expected to be a difficult away tie sets the team nicely for the home fixture against United Arab Emirates on September 10.


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