PETALING JAYA: Harimau Malaya captain Faisal Abdul Halim says the referee should not be blamed for Malaysia’s 0-3 loss to Vietnam in their clash in Group B of the Asean Football Federation Cup (AFF) 2022 in Hanoi last night.
The Selangor FC winger said the defeat was the result of the team’s own mistakes when they failed to capitalise on playing against 10 men after Vietnamese striker Nguyen Van Toan was shown the red card in the 32nd minute.
He said Japanese referee Ryuji Sato “did his job and we did ours”.
“The team has many young players and they need to learn. Mistakes made can punish the whole team,” Bernama quoted him as saying after the match.
He also refused to blame Azam Azmi Murad, who was given the red card, for the defeat. “He did a good job and made one mistake, which he should learn from,” he said.
Sato sent Azam off in the 62nd minute after the Terengganu FC player was adjudged to have fouled Doan Van Hau off the pitch, and awarded Vietnam a penalty which they converted.
“This defeat is disappointing because we came here (Hanoi) to get all three points,” Faisal said. “We created opportunities but could not capitalise on them. Luck was not on our side.”
With the defeat, Malaysia have failed to end their winless drought against Vietnam since 2014, losing seven times and drawing once.
Vietnam top the group with six points from two games and Malaysia must now beat Singapore at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Jan 3 for any chance of making it to the semifinals.