PORT MORESBY, (POST COURIER) – 193 ranked Papua New Guinea sent shock-waves into Malaysian Football.
The PNG Kapuls just coming off a positive OFC Nations Cup surprised the Malaysian national team 2-0 in one-off friendly at the Sir John Guise Stadium on Friday afternoon.
Malaysia ranked 173 in FIFA world rankings are on a three match Oceania tour. Kept hungry from the Nations Cup, PNG striker Tommy Semmy helped himself to a double at the 35th and 42nd minutes.
Malaysia came back strong in the second-half but the Kapuls defended well to deny striker Muhammad Shahrom Abdul Kalam and skipper Mohd Amri Yahyah efforts to restore lost pride more than anything else.
After the match, PNG coach Flemming Seristlev said: “International friendly matches are good for the players and with these kind of games it will be a stepping stone for the squad to challenge teams who are higher ranked in the OFC and FIFA spots.” Malaysia has confirmed another friendly with the Kapuls in mid-August after their tour with New Caledonia and Fiji before they return to Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia national team coach Ong Kim Swee demanded a massive improvement from his players, after witnessing his side slump to a 2-0 defeat against Papua New Guinea in their Oceania Tour opener on Friday.
The Southeast Asian nation are now ranked 173rd in the world. The Tigers will play New Caledonia (June 22) and Fiji (June 26) before returning home.
“Some players took it easy after the wins over Timor Leste (Asian Cup playoffs).”
The head coach also opted to give Azrif Nasrulhaq and Khair Jones full-back roles after the duo featured on the wing last time out.
“It is disappointing that some players didn’t show their character and help each other out. The second half proved that even with 10 men we can play better if the players have the mentality of wanting to do something”, said Kim Swee, referring to Shahrom Abdul Kalam’s injury in the 66th minute after he had used all his substitutes.
“I hope both teams can benefit from this game. “Players who are given opportunities should utilise it if they want to remain in the team,” he said.
That allowed PNG to slowly work their way into the game, before they eventually broke the deadlock through Tommy Semmy on the 35th minute mark. Kunanlan, Fazly Mazlan, Amirulhadi Zainal, Amirul Hisyam Awang Kechik and S. Chanthuru were brought in after the break.
The visitors pressed to reduce the deficit and nearly pulled one back when substitute Christie Jayaseelan struck the post in the 82nd minute but that was the closest the Tigers came. Kim Swee made the maximum six substitutions allowed for a worldwide friendly but strangely, did not introduce the in-form Ahmad Hazwan Bakri who had scored three goals in his previous two matches.