The Malaysian Under-23 squad pulled off a famous 1-0 victory over the South Korean Under-23 squad in an international friendly match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil here Sunday.Safiq Rahim was the toast of the Malaysian side after breaking the deadlock in the 50th minute with his thunderous shot beat Lee Bum Soo in the South Korean goal after his initial free kick was parried into his path by the goalkeeper.
A heavy downpour before the start of the match made playing conditions difficult for both teams but the Malaysian boys adopted better to the wet and slippery conditions to trouble the South Koreans.Mohd Zaquan Adha Abdul Radzak drew first blood when his shot from inside the box went wide in the fourth minute.Despite facing a side from a country that has reached the World Cup finals seven times since 1986, K. Rajagobal's boys who were a blend of players from the Under-21 and Under-23 squads, showed tremendous determination, commitment and skills throughout the match.
Stunned by the goal, the speedy Koreans launched a spirited waves of attacks but the Malaysian defence held on stoutly for the famous victory.The last time Malaysia played against South Korea was during the 1995 Merdeka tournament when the senior Malaysian side beat South Korea 2-1.Despite the rain, about 30,000 fans braved the wet conditions to see Malaysia, ranked 142 in the FIFA World rankings, beat South Korea, ranked 44th.
When approached by reporters after the match, Rajagobal said the team needed more such exposure to maintain consistency ahead of the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, in November.He said tonight's win did not guarantee that the team would churn out victories consistently.
Meanwhile, South Korea's coach Hong Myung Bo said the wet pitch slowed down his charges pace but his boys gained much experience from the exposure.
SOUTH KOREA : Lee Bum Soo, Park Hyung Jin, Jeong Dong Ho (Sin Se Gye), Kim Oh Kyu, Jang Suk Won, Lee Chang Yong, Jung Woo Young, Go Moo Yul (You Sun Gon), Jeong Hyun Cheol (Cho Yung Hoon), Park Hee Seong, Kim Dong Hee (Kim Dong Sub).
MALAYSIA: Mohd Sharbinee Allawee, Mohd Sabre Mat Sabu, Mohd Nasriq Baharom (Mohamad Muslim Ahmad), Mohd Aidil Zafuan, Amar Rohidan, Mohd Asraruddin Putra, Safiq Rahim, Mohd Zaquan Adha, Kunalan Subramaniam (Ahmad Shakir Mohd Ali), Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Baddrol Bakhtiar), Ahmad Fakri Saarani (Mohd Khyril Muhymeen).-- BERNAMA