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Melaka: Malaysia coach Nelo Vingada is convinced he now knows his best line-up after seeing his team pick up a point in their 1-1 draw in Group B of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers with Hong Kong in Melaka on Tuesday evening

The former Persepolis coach, who won the AFC Asian Cup in 1996 as head coach of Saudi Arabia, has yet to win after four games in charge of the Malaysia team but believes he has now identified his ideal starting XI.

"It was a difficult day because we lost two points,” said the Portuguese coach. “But I feel that I now have the strongest team in front of me. They are starting to understand my style and philosophy.

"Today we were actually good. We created a lot of chances. There was speed, and the attitude and determination were stronger than before.

"Unfortunately we made mistakes towards the end. We had many chances but we could not convert them.”

Hong Kong took the lead through Sandro in the 53rd minute before Syazwan Zainon levelled the scores three minutes later as the teams shared the points.

Malaysia picked up their first point and sit at the bottom of the standings, but have only played two games compared to three for Hong Kong and Lebanon. The Malaysians will play their game in hand against DPR Korea in Pyongyang on October 5.

The draw was Hong Kong’s second in three games after also sharing points with DPR Korea in June, although coach Kim Pan Gon was disappointed his team were unable to claim their first win of the campaign.

"I am sorry we were unable to get all three points tonight, but our players kept fighting for the win until the end,” said coach Kim.

"I am proud of my players for their performance and discipline on the pitch, but I am disappointed at the result.

"I appreciate our players' efforts under trying circumstances in this away game. It is not easy to play in such conditions, and many fans from Hong Kong had travelled down to support us.

"After we scored, we had nine players in our box and to lose the ball (that led to Malaysia's equaliser) like that was really poor."

Lebanon lead Group B with seven points from two wins and a draw after Hassan Maatouk’s late goal in Pyongyang earned his side a 2-2 draw against Joern Andersen’s team.

Kim Yu-song put DPR Korea in front in the 23rd minute before Nour Mansour equalised for the Lebanese, although Ri Yong-jik looked set to give the home side all three points before Maatouk’s late goal saw the points shared.

Photos: AFC, DPR Korea Football Association

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