Coach Brad Maloney said he was disappointed that Malaysia conceded a penalty and got a red card in a 0-2 loss against Vietnam in the U23 Asian Cup Wednesday night.
“We had a great start. Even when the team conceded the first goal in the 28th minute, we were still playing well. But a penalty then a red card in the last minute of the first half significantly affected our mentality and quality, which cost us the game,” Maloney said after the game in Uzbekistan.
Malaysia failed to put pressure on Vietnam from the start, conceding first to a header from Nham Manh Dung. They were able to create some chances after that, but after the penalty and the red card, the game was all but over for them.
“Congratulations to Vietnam for winning the game. But I don’t understand why the referee gave Hairiey Hakim a red card in that situation. I need to watch the video again before giving further comments,” Maloney said.
The penalty situation halted the game for five minutes. Vietnam’s Quang Nho received a pass inside the box and dribbled past Hakim. The ball seemed to have hit Hakim’s left arm. After five minutes of reviewing the play on VAR, referee Dilan Perera gave Vietnam a penalty and Hakim a red card. Malaysia were down to 10 men.
After three straight losses, Malaysia left the tournament with only one goal scored in their 1-4 loss to South Korea.
“We didn’t get the result that we wanted in this tournament. But I believe the last three games are still valuable experience and the young Malaysian players will go home with lessons for the next journey,” Maloney said.
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