The hits keep on coming as the Harimau Malaya reach nadir after nadir. FFT's Darren Goon dives into their latest humiliation.
Two games. That was how long Malaysia’s 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign lasted. Admittedly, it’s far too early for Harimau Malaya to be mathematically eliminated yet, but the manner of this defeat has not convinced many that they still stand a chance.
It was supposed to be a manageable start, this. Despite their lowly world ranking of 162, most Malaysians were optimistic of getting at least a win against Timor Leste and perhaps a point against Palestine, seeing as they were beginning their campaign at home with the substantial support of local fans and Ultras Malaya filling Bukit Jalil National Stadium’s 80,000-odd seats, as they did to such amazing effect at the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup.
But the fans largely stayed away, despite the best efforts of the ultras, and their presence in the stands was matched by the Malaysian players on the pitch as well – almost completely absent. They crashed to a 6-0 defeat against a youthful Palestine side in a manner that would have been shocking, if not for the numbing regularity of such landslide defeats.
So, with a tear-soaked black-and-yellow scarf in hand, FourFourTwo look at where Malaysia went wrong.