Football: Malaysia’s performances in the Olympics

Updated 22nd February 2012

Malaysia 0-4 Japan;

Quotable quotes from The Star’s report:

“Clearly showed up the national players’ inability to read the game and to make the right decisions at the crucial moments.”

“We had our moments but lacked the ability to make chances count. We have to accept that plenty of work is needed if we are to reach the level of giants like Japan.”

“Malaysia did well during the early stages of the match before the same old malaise – lack of concentration – cropped up after the half hour mark.”

“This time not even goalkeeper-cum-skipper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat could save them.”

Updated 6th February 2012

In a night where Chelsea vs Manchester United’s on at the same time, it’s doubtful if anybody even bothered to tune in to the Bahrain vs Malaysia match, the bottom 2 teams of group C.

A casual look at channel 813 showed that even the stadium’s almost empty.

The match ended 2-1 in favour of the hosts. Malaysia’s out of contention, the final 2 matches, versus Japan at home on the 22nd and away at Syria in March could see even fewer in the audience, inside the stadium or otherwise.

Updated 27 November 2011

vs Bahrain: unbelieveable – we were 2-0 up in the 68th, then everything came crashing down in 5 minutes, when Bahrain scored 3 goals in the 81st, 85th and 86th.

To rub salt to wound, all of Bahrain’s goals were scored when they were already down to 10 men.

The mantra “it’s not over until final whistle is blown” does not ring louder than tonight.

Fatigue can’t be an excuse anymore – we’ve had 4 days rest.

In all probability, there ends Malaysia’s Olympic hope.

Updated 23 November 2011

For the 2012 Olympics qualification, Malaysia is currently in the 3rd round, i.e. final 12 teams fighting for 3 automatic places and 1 playoff-decided place. The teams are divided into 3 groups of 4 teams each and play on a home-and-away format. Malaysia is the last South East Asian team left in qualifying, and has Syria, Japan and Bahrain for company. In the last Olympics, Japan had qualified, while both Syria and Bahrain also advanced to the last round of qualifying, Bahrain narrowly failing to make the cut. So, surely tougher oppositions than football at the 2011 SEA Games.

21 September 2011: Japan 2-0 Malaysia
23 November 2011: Malaysia 0-2 Syria, who had defeated Bahrain 3-1 earlier.
27 November 2011: Malaysia v Bahrain, who had also lost twice, 1-3 to Syria (away) & 0-2 to Japan (home). This will be a do or die mission, if we are to salvage any hope of making it to the Olympics.
5 February 2012: Bahrain v Malaysia
22 February 2012: Malaysia v Japan
14 March 2012: Syria v Malaysia


While football at the Olympics is of lower standing than the World Cup, if only for it being practically an under-23 tournament, it still offers an Olympic medal, a highly sought after commodity: some value it higher than a world championship.

As every Malaysian football fan knows, Malaysia qualified for football at the summer Olympics twice, in 1972 and 1980.

In 1972, we had a team that boasted local legends Wong Kam Fook, Soh Chin Aun (then 24), Namat Abdullah (then 27), Shaharuddin Abdullah and M Chandran (then 30). In the first round, Malaysia played probably its highest ever level of competitive football, against West Germany, which included Uli Hoeness, then 20, who would go on to be part of the team that won the 1974 World Cup, and Ottmar Hitzfeld, then 23, who would go on to be one of the world’s most successful managers, winning the Champions League twice, first as manager of Borussia Dortmund (1996–97) and then Bayern Munich (2000–01). We lost that match 0-3, but bounced right back by defeating the USA 3-0. But I don’t know what happened in the third and final match, we were thrashed by Morocco 0-6, causing us to finish third in Group A and cost us the second round.

In 1980, we didn’t play a single match due to the boycott.

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