Malaysia head coach Ong Kim Swee admit that his team’s AFF Suzuki Cup campaign was a failure following the Tigers’ inability to reach the semi-final.
Harimau Malaya were knocked out of the tournament after a 1-0 defeat to co-hosts Myanmar in their final Group B game on Saturday night. The 2014 finalists finished third, behind Vietnam and Myanmar, with just three points.
This is only the third time Malaysia failed to make it to the knockout stage of the tournament in their history.
“We did our best, but apparently Myanmar is better than us. We didn’t have a lot of chances today”, Ong said after the match.
“We used young players because Myanmar has a lot of young talents in their squad. We wanted to keep their speedy players in check”, the Malaysian coach explained his selection to reporters.
Meanwhile, Myanmar coach Gerd Zeise said he was in relief when David Htan scored the late winner to ensure their place in the semi-final.
“We have some of our best performance in the first half today. But we have a lot to worry in the second half, especially when we missed a penalty kick, and then we hit the woodwork. I though we wouldn’t be able to score at all”, Gerd Zeise told reporters after the match.
“Fortunately, Htan scored the goal. All my worries are gone. I am so happy now because this is the first time we reach the semi-final in 12 years. We will have to prepare for the next match (against Thailand)”, he said.