Analysis

Malaysia Player Ratings: OKS’s troops deliver in historic win to reach AFC U23 knockout round

Ong Kim Swee’s Malaysia Under-23 squad braved a late Saudi Arabia onslaught to record a famous 1-0 win and become the first Southeast Asian side to reach the AFC Under-23 Championship knockout rounds. So how did we rate his Tigers?

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HAZIQ NADZLI: 6.5

Haziq pulled off some good saves but there were also times he lost a grip of the ball or completely missed it and was fortunate not to concede.

ADAM NOR AZLIN: 7.5

The skipper ensured the Saudis were not able to find an opening down Malaysia’s left side as he pressed the opposition forwards well.

IRFAN ZAKARIA: 8.5

Playing in the centre of a back three, Irfan commanded his space and cleared the line on several occasions when his teammates were beaten.

DOMINIC TAN: 7.5

Another good outing for the Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) reserve, who recovered well after a slow start and proved difficult to beat.

Dominic Tan (right)

SYAZWAN ANDIK ISHAK: 7

Another accomplished performance from him as he provided muscle at the back and ventured forward into the final third many times to pressure the Middle Eastern giants.

NOR AZAM AZIH: 7

Azam wasn’t as enforcing as in previous matches but he did his job in the middle until being replaced after 70 minutes.

DANIEL AMIER NORHISHAM: 8.5

Having played a role in Malaysia’s equaliser against Jordan, Daniel sent Malaysian’s fans into a frenzy after finding the back of the net with a clean shot from inside the box in the 28th minute. He also won plenty of balls in the middle to halt Saudi moves. 

MATTHEW DAVIES: 7.5

Consistent as always, Davies’s hard work down the right got Malaysia the opener as he muscled his way to put in the cross. He was also kept busy in defence but rarely looked to be in real trouble.

Matthew Davies

AKHYAR RASHID: 7

He didn’t quite have the impact he had against Jordan as Saudi were tougher opponents, but you could see the determination in Akhyar to keep going despite being hacked down several times.

KOGILESWARAN RAJ: 6.5

Played a better target man role than Jafri Firdaus Chew did in previous matches as he won several free-kicks, including the one that led to Malaysia’s goal. He could have had more impact if he possessed a bit more pace.

SAFAWI RASID: 7.5

Safawi didn’t have a good time in the final third but that was simply because he played deeper than usual and gave everything he had in ensuring Saudi Arabia were not going to score an equaliser.

Safawi Rasid