Malaysia still have a chance to make a comeback in the match against Bahrain on Sunday despite having lost to Syria in the 2012 Olympic Qualifying Round, here last night, said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
He called on football fans in the country not to make a negative conclusion immediately following the defeat of the Harimau Muda squad.
Malaysia put up a good game last night, it was just that they had lost focus due to fatigue as they only had less than 48 hours to rest before meeting Syria, he told reporters here Thursday.
In the third round qualifying match of the Group C Olympics 2012 at the Bukit jalil National Stadium last night, Malaysia lost 0-2 to the Syrians who are popularly known as the Red Eagle.
Ahmad Shabery said the people should not place too much hope on the squad coached by Ong Kim Swee as the team had just entered a higher level after being proclaimed as the "South-east Asian King of Football" following their success in grabbing the football gold at the Indonesian SEA Games 2011 recently.
"The success of the Harimau Muda to be in the group of 12 top teams in Asia is considered a major achievement and it is a new experience for most of the players," he said.
He said most of the players in the Under-23 squad were aged between 18 and 19 and had a good chance of becoming famous players one day.