The hype was extraordinary. The hope was lightened up again. We Malaysians were looking forward again to the romance of 2010. The win against Singapore last week was in a way unexpected but fits to the chapters in a fairy tale. Malaysians were up in full arms supporting Harimau Malaya! Looking back, the win against Singapore was probably a charade, disguising truth about the quality of the current squad.
I was not willing to risk going to the stadium yesterday because I was oncall. It would be a tragedy if i wwas to be called during the game as there will be no way that i can go to the hospital stat. So there i was with my kids in TTDI watching the game.Few of my colleagues were in the stadium. Witnessing the comeback of a full filled stadium, all in tandem supporting the national team for greatness.Seeing the fans all out especially the Ultra Malayas is exhilarating. I am proud to be a Malaysian when seeing all this in front of me. All the team had to do was show how worthy they are to the hardcore supporters. The current squad had the core of team 2009-2012 anyway, how else can it go wrong?
The truth was, Vietnam was the better team both in their system and tactically. They were more composed and confident. We were lucky to get the penalty but our game play did not reflect our status as semi-finalist.
We succumbed to the Vietnamese. 2-1. But credit to the players who played their best, just that their best is not standard enough to win this cup. Syafiq's penalty was as cool as a cucumber, superbly classy and oozed with confidence. I wished that our defence had more confidence in themselves in last night's game.
The next leg will be in Hanoi. I will continue to root for our team. Wishful thinking of winning in Hanoi? Why not ? Asian football is about living the fairy tale and the standard amongst us is not much difference. Perhaps, playing at home seemed to created more pressure for the players more than playing away.
Ayuh Harimau Malaya.. we are behind you!!