Timor Leste earned an historic 1-1 draw in their opening group stage of 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers following a remarkable late comeback against Malaysia.
Harimau Malaya took the lead in the 34th minute through Safee Sali’s effort who finished off a move by Amri Yahyah, but Ramon De Lima Saro struck the equaliser well into injury time to deny the victory for the hosts.
Reflecting on a hugely impressive result that reinvigorates his side’s qualifiers campaign, the Rising Sun head coach Fabio Joaquim Magrao stated that he was satisfied with the team performance.
“Actually we didn’t have a proper preparation before this game, we just had three days to hold a training session. Obviously we are happy with this achievement,” said the Brazilian tranier.
“We played very well and impressively during the game, both when defending and attacking. I can say that against Malaysia at their home soil is always a hard challenge for us.”
The 37-year-old coach also defended the Timor Leste’s team policy from many criticism regarding of the decision to call several naturalised Portuguese and Brazilian players.
“It’s a long-term plan from the Timor Leste Football Federation [FFTL] to improve the national team because we are a developing country and even don’t have a national league,” he added.
Timor Leste will host UAE in their second fixture at Shah Alam Stadium in Malaysia on June 16 due to the lack of a suitable venue in their capital city, Dili.