Fatigue and loss of focus in the second half of the match have been attributed as the cause of the 0-2 defeat suffered by the national Olympic squad to Syria in the Group C Olympic qualifier at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium Wednesday night.
National Olympic squad chief coach Ong Kim Swee said the complacency of the defence in the second half also gave an opening to the Syrians to score their second goal.
"Our defenders lost concentration in the second half and this was made worse by tiredness as they had just returned from Indonesia and only had two hours of practice," he said at a press conference after the match.
Kim Swee said he did not have much choice in term of players due to various problems suffered by his wards.
"Mohd Fadhli Mohd Shas was down with fever this morning and could not be fielded while Mohd Irfan Fazail was injured.
"Both of them were expected to recover in two or three days time to face Bahrain on Sunday," he said.
On preparation for the match against Bahrain at the same venue, the 40-year-old coach said he would field several players who could not play in the match tonight.
"I may field the first 11 such as Mohd Fadhli, Mohd Irfan Fazail and Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim to strengthen our chance of finishing in the group behind Japan," he added.
Meanwhile, Syrian coach Immad Eddin Khankan said that he was impressed with the performance of Malaysian midfielder Wan Zack Haikal Wan Noor.
"He gave a lot of trouble to our defenders but we managed to control him throughout the game," he said.