Jul 21, 2006

Sathia happy with Under-21 team

THE National Under-21 football team returned from their 10-daytraining-cum-playing stint of South Africa with two draws and one loss,taking heart from an encouraging 0-0 draw against the home team's Olympicside. The stint is part of the national team's preparations for the 2008Olympic Qualifiers. Coached by B. Sathianathan, Malaysia drew their first match againstSouth African Premier League side Wits University 2-2 before playing twomatches against the South Africa Olympic team. The hosts, who just returned from a three-month training stint inEurope, were held 0-0 in front of 20,000 home fans. However, the stint was blemished by a 3-0 defeat to the Olympic team inthe final friendly with all the goals coming in the first half. But Sathianathan, with an eye on the Qualifiers, was generally pleasedwith his team's performance.