A lackluster Sri Lanka were thumped 6-0 by Malaysia in an International Friendly encounter played at the National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Sri Lanka will face Malaysia in an international friendly before …
As a preparation for the 3rd match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against South Korea, Sri Lanka took on Malaysia in a friendly encounter en-route to South Korea.
Sri Lanka went into the game with the same eleven that started the game against North Korea except for Mohamed Luthfi taking the place of Sujan Perera in goal.
Sri Lanka kicked off the game and they had to repeat the process 3 more times in the first half as Malaysia went to a 3 goal lead within 17 minutes of play.
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Shafiq Ahamed opened the scoring for Malaysia in the 10th minute of the game with an easy tap in after good build up play and cross from the right wing.
Four minutes later Shaharul Saad made it 2-0 after a corner landed at his feet with the defense failing to clear.
A thumping looked imminent when Norsharul Idlan calmly slotted in another cross from the right wing to make the score 3-0 in favor of the hosts in the 17th minute.
The Sri Lankan defense looked amateurish and with an inexperienced goalkeeper, the back line lacked leadership as the Malaysians took advantage and dominated proceedings.
The Sri Lankans looked ragged and didn’t seem to have a plan and were all over the field. The Malaysians showed much more composure and professionalism in their play and looked to score at every opportunity presented to them.
It took a good 40 minutes in the first half for the Lankans to string a couple of passes together and when they did so they were able to move and create openings. Just before the break Dilip Pieris should have scored after a good play with Madushan de Silva. The Malaysian goalkeeper made an excellent block to deny Dilip.
As the half time break approached the Lankans got into the game which took longer than they would have expected as the teams headed for lemons with the score 3-0 in favor of Malaysia.
Half Time: Malaysia 3 – 0 Sri Lanka
The second half kicked off with the Malaysians on the offence and coming closer to increasing the lead. They did so in the 51st minute through Akhyar Rashid who volleyed home after goalkeeper Luthfi managed to fist a cross half way inside the 6 yard box. Once again the play came from the right wing.
Mohamed Aakib came in for Aman Faizer in the 57th minute to bolster the attack. Faizer never got into the game and was a forgotten figure in his midfield role.
After 65 minutes and 4 goals down coach Nizam Packeer Ali replaced Manaram Perera with the more experienced Charitha Rathnayake in the defense. Sasanka Dilhara too got some valuable game time as he replaced Madushan de Silva in the 70th minute.
The Malaysian offensive players toyed with the Lankan midfield and defense and looked to increase their lead. Their finishing was not as brutal as it was in the first half as they missed the target on several occasions.
However in the 76th minute Shafiq Ahamed scored his second of the evening with a simple finish from the through ball which beat the offside trap.
It was constant chasing shadows for the Lankans who couldn’t get out of their own half for much of the second half and looked to limit the damage. Mariyathas Nitharshan came in to replace Dilip Pieris for the final few minutes of the game.
Mohamed Luthfi finally made a save in the 85th minute to deny Shafiq his hat-trick with a smart save after more poor defensive positioning. Ahamed Shafiq did get his hat-trick in the 87th minute with a long range effort which sailed over keeper Luthfi who was in no man’s land.
Malaysia rested many of their key players including Muhammadu Sumareh who scored 3 goals last time the two teams met.
The Lankans must address their defensive errors quickly before they take on South Korea in 5 day’s time if they are to avoid another humiliation.
Full Time: Malaysia 6 – 0 Sri Lanka
Malaysia – Shafiq Ahamed 10’,76’ & 87’, Shaharul Saad 14’, Norsharul Idlan 17’, Akhyar Rashid 51’