The national men’s senior team that is currently on a nine-day tour of Japan lost the first practice match 1-5 against their Japanese counterparts at Gifu Green Stadium, in Kakamigahara today.
Malaysia went down by three goals in the first half before the Japanese added two more after the interval to make it 5-0. However, Norhizzat Sumantri pulled one back for the visitors in the 55th minute through a field goal.
National men’s senior team head coach, Stephen van Huizen, said this was an opportunity to try out new players after having lost the services of key players for a myriad of reasons.
“We are without several players, many of whom hold important positions in our team. As such, there was a lack of stability overall and we did try many players just to see all available options,” he said.
“Regardless, the performance was way below par, mainly in the first half. We were much better in the second, albeit still playing short of the expected standard. In having said that, we will definitely have a review session to rectify the mistakes made and put up a much better performance in the coming matches,” added Stephen.
The Malaysians travelled to Japan without national team captain Razie Rahim, his deputy Nabil Fiqri, midfielder Fitri Saari and defender Faiz Helmi Jali, forward Shahril Saabah and goalkeeper S.Kumar.
Both teams are down to play the second practice match on 9 June 2016 before entertaining the host nation in test matches on 11 and 12 June 2016.