Izwan Mahbud – Goalkeeper
The young custodian displayed assured handling when called upon, although he did seem a little nervy when coming off his line to claim crosses. Didn’t actually had much to do apart from the two goals, both of which he could do nothing about.
Irwan Shah – Right-back
Had a decent outing at rightback, which is not his usual position. Was steady enough defensively, but perhaps could have provided Yasir Hanapi down the right with more assistance during attacking moves.
Baihakki Khaizan – Centreback
Conceded the foul which led to the freekick goal for Malaysia’s second, but otherwise marshalled the backline well as skipper. Read the game well and made a couple of good interceptions, and also made a superb last-ditch tackle to prevent Safee Sali from springing clear.
Safuwan Baharudin – Centreback
A constant menace at set-pieces, he caused no end of trouble by getting on the end of at least three such deliveries, but will have to work on his heading ability to make better use of such opportunities in future. Dependable at the back, forged a good understanding with Baihakki and also did very well to win the freekick which led to Singapore’s equaliser.
Shakir Hamzah – Left-back
Was not over-awed despite this being his international debut, as he showed great tenacity in challenging for the ball and displayed his hunger and determination. Played his part in linking up with Shaiful Esah down the left during attacks, while not neglecting his defensive duties. A solid debut for the youngster to build upon.
Yasir Hanapi – Right midfield
Did not find much joy down the right, as he struggled to get past his man and put in any sort of telling deliveries. Found a little more joy when he ventured inwards, but his eventual shots were either well wide or straight at the goalkeeper. Could have done with more support when he was on the ball.
Hariss Harun – Centre midfield
The robust central midfielder struggled to stamp his mark on the game despite playing the entire match, although he showed glimpses of his ability with some well-timed challenges. Did not venture forward too much, and looked a little subdued.
Isa Halim – Centre midfield
Tenacious in midfield as you would expect, the defensive midfielder largely did his job by shielding the back-four, but could have perhaps played a more ambitious forward pass on a couple of occasions. Failed to track Azamuddin Akil’s late run into the box for Malaysia’s first goal.
Shaiful Esah – Left midfield
Clearly did not look too comfortable playing on the left side, slowed things down whenever he got the ball. Failed to provide more options whenever Singapore were on the attack, and was a tad too sluggish in moving up and down. A more positive side was his largely superb set-piece deliveries, which caused panic in the opposition area.
Shahdan Sulaiman – Attacking midfield
The skilful playmaker tried his best to make things happen in the attacking third, always asking for the ball and trying to play it on the ground and into the box. However, his partnership with Agu did not work too well, and he lacked support from the midfield duo behind him. Took his goal very well as he planted a calm finish into the far corner past a wall of defenders. His intelligent thinking was crucial in the equaliser, as he cleverly played the ball back for the unmarked Qiu Li instead of sending the freekick into a crowded box.
Agu Casmir – Striker
Apart from an early header which was very well saved by Khairul Fahmi, the Nigeria-born forward struggled to make any sort of headway up front, as he constantly lost the ball. Did try his best to link up with Shahdan, but it seems like he does not do well in a lone striker role.
Shi Jiayi – Right midfield
Tried to control the game, but it was difficult from his right-midfield role. Played some really good diagonal balls when he drifted into the centre.
Daniel Bennett – Right-back
Looked a little lost in a full-back role, but did an adequate job. Put in a couple of decent crosses which no one managed to get on the end of.
Safirul Sulaiman – Left-back
Replaced the steady Shakir, but did not have much time to make much of an impact.
Mustafic Fahrudin – Centre midfield
Injected a bit of steel into the midfield with his hard tackling.
Qiu Li – Left midfield
Missed the penalty with his tame effort, but made up for it with his thunderbolt of an equaliser, which took great technique. Also not afraid to take on defenders, while he is capable of sending in good crosses from the flanks as well.
Khairul Nizam – Striker
Made a big difference upfront when he came on, as his intelligent off-the-ball running and quick movement stretched the Malaysian defence. Should have done better with two goalscoring opportunities, and should have had a second penalty as well, but all in all a very promising cameo performance off the bench by the young striker.
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