Lasers, brawls and bumper crowds: FourFourTwo's SEA Games wrap-up
As the sizeable number of Thailand supporters that had made the journey to Shah Alam Stadium and those back home celebrated their nation’s SEA Games gold medal, some amongst their number decided to keep the party going with a bit of Wikipedia modification.
Shifted from his page as goalkeeper of the Malaysian U23 side, there was a new entry for Haziq Nadzli listed as a Thai midfielder following his blunder that – quite literally – single-handedly gave Thailand the title.
Leaving aside the online hijinks it was a shame that it was Haziq at fault for the goal as he’d been one of his country’s best throughout a tournament that saw some sparkling football played, some cracking goals and a fair bit of controversy both on and off the pitch.
Here FourFourTwo takes a look at some of the highlights, lowlights and more unusual scenes from the past fortnight of football in and around the Malaysian capital.
Nothing shines the spotlight more brightly on the disparity between various nations across Southeast Asia than the very kits in which they play.
Whereas some nations have lucrative deals with major international companies and can afford to come up with the latest design and innovation trends, at the other end of the scale we saw the old local league dilemma.
Cambodia were forced to keep things rather simple with just plain numbers but no names, while Laos had the name of their nation rather than the individual players on the back for one match.
Even hosts Malaysia got mixed up between games with their ‘home’ kits having numbers and names, but not for the white ‘away’ strip where somebody put the numbers on but forgot to add the player’s names.
Although they made it to the scheduled kick-off right on time, that wasn’t always looking likely as the floodlights failed between the early match at Selayang between Philippines and Thailand and the later, crucial, clash featuring Vietnam and Indonesia.
It’s a situation that often threatens to interrupt football throughout the region and which thankfully was fairly isolated here.
LASERS APPEAR AGAIN
Long the scourge of football right across Southeast Asia, either security has vastly improved inside the venues used at this tournament or there’s been a lot of genuine uses for the military-grade lasers that have seen their stock plummet.
That's because there was nowhere near the same level of activity that usually occurs, although they were prominently shone in that match between Vietnam and Indonesia.