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TCH delighted with positive impact substitutions – football news

Malaysia recovered from the poor defeat to Chinese Taipei last week to carve out a solid 1-3 win over Cambodia on Monday night but it did not come without it’s difficulties. Tan Cheng Hoe’s men were swarmed right from the kick off and struggled for most parts of the first half.

Cambodia opened the scoring with a well taken set piece routine through Hong Pheng as Malaysia’s defence were caught napping with their positioning. Nasir Basharudin was forced off with an injury and debutant Azzizan Nordin came into midfield, that proving to be the starting point of Malaysia’s revival.

The team looked more composed on the ball after that and started to wrest control of the match away from the home side, albeit without threatening the Cambodian goal a great deal. It was the second half replacements that helped shape a comeback win for Tan with Shahrel Fikri in particular, putting in a man-of-the-match performance.

“The players bounced back with a better performance today even though we conceded an early goal. I have to compliment the players for their fighting spirit. I want to see the players in future to be more composed playing in front of a partisan crowd.” 

“Yes (substitutions had an impact), because some of the players played in the Asian Games and the Chinese Taipei game. So when fresh players came in, it gave an impact on the game. There’s a lot of positives in our team but also a lot of weakness. We still have October and November to prepare further for the Suzuki Cup,” said Tan in the post-match press conference.

Tan’s opposite number, Keisuke Honda was in his managerial debut and a strong approximate 40,000 fans turned up to see his first outing. There was a wave of confidence in the home side buoyed by the fans and not dampened by the continuous downpour that delayed the start of the match.

Having seen the impact first hand, Tan acknowledged that when Malaysia go back to Phnom Penh for the first group match of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup later this year, it will be a more testing match for the Malayan Tigers especially after Honda is able to work with the players for a longer period.

“Maybe because of their new coaching setup, it’s not easy for the players. I’m sure when the Suzuki Cup campaign starts, Cambodia will not make it an easy game for us. I hope my players can take a positive experience from this match when we return here for the competition.”

“Can see that the players are really motivated and fought for every ball. My players had to absorb the pressure and play according to the tactical way we’ve been playing,” added Tan.

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Keisuke Honda-led Cambodia won’t force Cheng Hoe into making gameplan changes – football news

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Malaysia’s next friendly opponents, Cambodia may have roped in Japanese star Keisuke Honda as their head coach, but that will not force Harimau Malaya head coach Tan Cheng Hoe into doing things differently this Monday.

Last month, the Cambodian FA announced Honda as its national team head coach, a somewhat unorthodox arrangement considering the fact that one week earlier, the 32-year old had just signed on to play for Melbourne Victory in the A-League. 

The Cambodia-Malaysia friendly will be the Asian Cup-winner’s first match leading his new charges. Two days ago, he led his first training session in preparation for the encounter against Malaysia.

Speaking in the post-match press conference following their 2-0 friendly defeat to Chinese Taipei on Friday, Cheng Hoe remarked that the presence of Honda will not result in him planning for the match any differently.

“It’s a very important game for us, and it seems that my players are free from injury. It won’t be easy for them as the match is in two days’ time, and they need to be fresh mentally.

“Cambodia too have appointed Honda as their new coach, and they may be more motivated to play under him. But my players will be playing well, and we’ll keep the same momentum on Monday,” said the former Kedah boss when asked by a local journalist.

The match will be played at the Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium, with kick-off time at 7.30pm Malaysian time. 

Cheng Hoe’s charges have been drawn in Group A of the 2018 AFF Championship later this year, together with Cambodia. The past four encounters between the two teams have been won by Malaysia, with their most recent clash taking place in the 2016 edition of the competition.


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