Malaysia newspaper calls national team 'rubbish' after Asian Cup thrashing

By Hoang An   January 19, 2024 | 05:46 pm PT
Malaysia newspaper calls national team 'rubbish' after Asian Cup thrashing
Malaysia players (in yellow) during the Asian Cup group stage match with Jordan on Jan. 16, 2024. Photo by Reuters/Thaier Al-Sudani
Malaysian media turned their backs on the national team after their 4-0 defeat against Jordan in the Asian Cup group stage.

"Rubbish, clueless and tasteless. These words best describe Malaysia's return to the Asian Cup after their nightmare in the 2007 edition," pundit Ajitpal Singh wrote in New Straits Times.

Malaysia conceded three goals to world number 86 Jordan in the first half on Jan. 15, before losing another in the second.

Malaysia's defense ceded a lot of space to their opponents to finish comfortably. Malaysia had 53% possession in this match with eight shots but failed to score.

Asian Cup highlights: Malaysia 0-4 Jordan

After the match, coach Kim Pan-gon apologized and took responsibility for this defeat.

Kim's apology could not calm the media and fans.

"After the thrashing, Pan Gon pathetically apologized, which is not good enough. When going into any tournament, the basic rule is never to underestimate your rivals, but he did, and the team paid the price," Singh wrote in New Straits Times, adding that the Malaysian coach had been confident with the naturalized players who made up half of the team.

The newspaper also criticized Kim for using "very amateurish" approach when fielding an attacking team in an opening game against a top 100 side in the world rankings.

In their previous tournament in 2007 as co-hosts, Malaysia lost all three matches, conceding 12 times and scoring only one goal. Their next two opponents in this Asian Cup are Bahrain and South Korea.

Malaysia has naturalized many players, even those without Malaysian origins in recent years. However, the most recent title they won was the 2010 AFF Cup.

Malaysia are 130th in the world rankings, while Bahrain are one place above Jordan.

If Malaysia can't win against Bahrain on Saturday night, their chance of advancing will be over because in the last round they will have to face the mighty South Korea.

go to top