Malaysia are miles behind Asian powerhouse Japan.
The statistic report handed to the media showed that Japan had 22 shots at goal compared to Malaysia’s 2.
National Under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee admitted that Malaysia were no match for Japan.
The former international said it was no secret that they simply lost to a better team and it would be difficult for Malaysia to cope with teams of higher standards in international competitions.
“Japan are of a different level and they gave us a lesson in football today,” conceded Kim Swee at the post-match conference after Japan defeated Malaysia 2-0 at the Tosu Stadium here last night.
Kim Swee offered no excuses and said that even though he had placed utmost emphasis on defensive tactics in training – his boys could not cope with the fleet-footed opponents.
“A good team will make it difficult no matter how we play and they capitalised on the mistakes in defence. Japan played at a different level and showed us how to do it right.
They closed us down in the middle and when we had possession, our boys were slow to go forward,” said a disappointed Kim Swee.
However, the only bright spark in the team was skipper cum goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, who was oustanding between the posts, stopping more than a dozen attempts at goal.
If not for Khairul’s heroics, Malaysia could have received a hiding.
“There is no question about his (Khairul) performance today.
“He was not only commanding in goal but also organised the backline,” said Kim Swee.
The backline comprising Mohd Fadhli Shas, Mohd Muslim Ahmad, Mohd Zubir Azmi and Mahalli Jasuli were in shambles.
Nippy Keigo Higashi and Hiroshi Kiyotake proved to be a handful for the Malaysian defence with their strong running and passing.
The midfield did not live up to expectations while forwards A. Thamil Arasu and Izzaq Faris Ramlan had barely any support.
Kim Swee said it was not the end of the world for his team and hoped that they bounce back in their next two home matches against Syria (Nov 23) and Bahrain (Nov 27),