The loss to Singapore may be a hard pill to swallow for Malaysia but in reality, the young tigers are still not ready to compete at the highest level, says former national football coach.
After having won the Laos SEA Games gold medal in 2009 and the AFF Suzuki Cup last year, Malaysia who were regarded as the best team in South East Asia, failed to beat Singapore last night and missed the opportunity to advance to the third round of the 2014 Asian Zone World Cup Qualifier.
Malaysia who lost 3-5 in the first leg of the second round to Singapore at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore last Saturday, could only manage a 1-1 in the return leg at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last night and lost out on a 4-6 aggregate.
Former National coach B. Sathianathan said based on the performances of the team this month, it can be concluded that we are still not ready to compete against the likes of Asian football powerhouses like South Korea, Japan or middle east countries.
In the four matches that Malaysia lost this month, 18 goals were conceded against eight goals scored, underlining a chink in the Armour of Datuk K. Rajagobal's trusted guards.
Malaysia lost 2-3 to Taiwan in the second leg of the first round 2014 Asian Zone World Cup Qualifier and again lost 0-4 to English Premier League club Arsenal and 3-6 to Liverpool before the 3-5 loss to Singapore last Saturday.
"Singapore were more composed, controlled play and better organised. They also created more chances," he told Bernama.
In contrast, the Malaysian players were did not display their true capabilities, probably because they were under pressure and were tense throughout the match, except for a few players, he said.
According to Sathianathan, only the brilliance of goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat prevented Singapore from scoring more goals last night.
Meanwhile, Datuk Abdul Ghani Minhat or better known as 'Raja Bola' to the Malaysian football fraternity when contacted said, the players were in a state of panic and not focused.
"Maybe there were too obsessed with the two goal deficit and that probably added on to the pressure because despite the strong support from the fans, nothing went according to their game plan," he said.
Ghani added that the loss had exposed a number of weaknesses that need to be rectified while their mental and physical strength need to be restored so that they can continue the task ahead in the future.
Malaysia's next assignment will be the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia come November.