Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Malaysia's Under 22 Squad play a goalless draw with Bahrain

Malaysia U-22 play a goalless draw with Bahrain

Mohd Jafri taking a shot during the match against Bahrain at the Shah Alam Stadium. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star

SHAH ALAM: The national Under-22 team’s lack of cutting edge stuck out like a sore thumb in a match they should have won against their Bahraini counterparts at the Shah Alam Stadium.

Coach Frank Bernhardt’s men dominated the match in the goalless draw but wasted a flurry of chances which would have ended their four-match winless run.

The German coach went for a 4-2-3-1 formation with Mohd Jafri Chew heading the assault and flanked by left wing Nur Shamie Iszuan Amin, S. Kumahraan and right wing S. Thanabalan.

Muhammad Irfan Zakaria and Ahmad Khairil Anuar Ahmad Zamri manned the engine room while the backline was marshalled by Matthew Davies, Mohd Adib Zainuddin, Dominic Tan and Muhammad Syazwan Andik Mohd Ishak in front of goalkeeper Ahmad Syihan Hazmi Mohamed.

Thanabalan, strikers Muhd Jafri and Kumahraan were the team’s bright spark going forward with their penetrating runs in the first half but could not breach past Bahrain goalkeeper Mohd Mahboob Yahya Al Doseri.

Jafri was the first to test Mahboob with a header in the 14th minute and three minutes later his Penang team-mate Kumahraan dragged his shot just wide of the posts.

Mahboob was again the stumbling block pulling off a double save deep into the first half of added time to deny Thanabalan and skipper Mohd Adib Zainuddin’s header.

In the second half, the Malaysians came out charging to break the deadlock but were again let down by poor finishing.

The introduction of Adam Nor Azlin for Kumahraan and Muhammad Arif Mohamed Anwar for Jafri in the 68th minute injected more bite upfront.

But the end result was the same as Malaysia failed to make any headway in front of goal.

Bernhardt will expect a better showing from his boys when both sides meet again at the UiTM Stadium on Friday.

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