The schedule for the First League of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 Finals between Malaysia and Indonesia as per below:
Date : 26th December 2010
Venue : Nasional Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Malaysia
Time : 8.00pm
Well done, Malaysia !
Malaysia moved into final of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 when they held defending champions Vietnam to a scoreless draw in the second leg semi-final at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Saturday.
The result was enough to bring Malaysia into the final of the biennial championship for the first time in 14 years following the 2-0 advantage they had in Kuala Lumpur which confirmed their passage on a 2-0 aggregate.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak described Malaysia's ability to reach the final of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup as a turning point in the history of Malaysian football.
The Prime Minister who was among 5,000 odd football fans who watched Malaysia hold Vietnam 0-0 in their second leg semifinal at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, through a 'big screen' live broadcast by Astro Supersport at Bukit Bintang here said it was also a revival of football in the country.
The 0-0 draw saw Malaysia advance to the final on a 2-0 aggregate, courtesy of a 2-0 win in the first leg semifinal, at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday.
"Although Malaysia did not score any goals tonight, it is not important because what is important is that it provided a turning point in the history of Malaysian football," said Najib who joined fans and tourists to watch the match Saturday night.
Najib added that though Malaysia were playing a more defensive game, the players showed a lot of determination to prevent Vietnam from scoring.
The Prime Minister who himself is a keen sportsman said the players also showed good discipline qualities and followed instructions from the coach that in the end proved to be vital for the win.
When asked of incentives for making the final, Najib said incentives should not be the main focus but success achieved first before receiving any incentives.
Najib who arrived at about 8.40pm, five minutes before the first half, wearing a short-sleeved shirt, was greeted with a thunderous applause by fans and well wishers when he sat down on the road with fans.
The Prime Minister who was accompanied by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery and his deputy Datuk Razali Ibrahim, watched the match until the final whistle.
Meanwhile, in Hanoi, Chief coach, K.Rajagobal was delighted with the performance of his players.
“I just cannot express what I feel at this time. The players showed the real ‘harimau’ the Malaysian tiger. We knew that it was going to be a tough match but we were confident and we were disciplined in defence with the players playing to instruction,” said Rajagobal.
“The first 15 to 20 minutes was crucial as we knew that if we concede a goal then it will spell trouble for us. But the two defenders were good and considering that they are just under-21 years old, it speak volume of their future.
“I told them tonight, we must play single and while it might look ugly, we just have to make the clearance, no matter what. The captain (Safiq Rahim) is an offensive player but tonight, he was told that he needs to play deeper which he did.”
The onus was always going to be on Vietnam and in front of a sell-out crowd of 40,000, the home team did not waste any time in going forward from the very first whistle off South Korean referee Kim Sang-woo.
The return of Nguyen Trong Hoang gave more bite on the left flank as he made Malaysian leftback Mohd Asraruddin Putra Omar work double time in ensuring that crosses were not made into the Malaysian box.
In the ninth, Trong Hoang shot through a sea of legs but there were no takers at the far post.
Barely a minute later, tragedy struck the Vietnam side when Phan Van Tai Em had to be stretchered with a suspected broken arm following a clash with Malaysian’s Mohd Safee Sali.
Phan Van was quickly replaced by Le Tan Tai.
The change for Tan Tai did not disrupt Vietnam’s offensive play his double shot within the next ten minutes saw Malaysian custodian Khairul Fahmi Che Mat rising to the occasion.
Malaysia’s only chance in the first half was a curling shot from Norshahrul Idlan Talaha which narrowly missed the upright.
Vietnam did not let up on the pressure in the second half but they just can’t seem to find a way past Khairul as he stood firm to frustrate the hometers.
In the 62nd minute of play, Vietnam should have gone forward but off a cross from Pham Thanh Luong, the lanky Nguyen Viet Thang could only head the ball onto the path of Khairul.
And barely ten minutes later, Vietnam’s frustration was complete when Thanh Luong picked up his second yellow card in the game for which referee Sang-woo had little choice but to send out of the game for good.
In the closing stages Malaysia had the best chance of the game but after breaking through Safiq’s effort came off Vietnam keeper Duong Hong Son instead.
“I’m responsible for the loss, don’t criticise the players. If you need to criticise anyone, criticise me,” said Vietnam chief coach Henrique Calisto at the post match press conference.
“We did not lose here, we lost in Kuala Lumpur and I think that we were the better team over both legs. Sometimes, we win and sometimes we lose – that’s life. Show me a coach who never loses.
“The loss of Tan Tai was unfortunate although I agreed with the decision of the referee in giving Thanh Luong the red card.”