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Valuable lessons have been learnt, says Malaysia’s Tan

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia head coach Tan Cheng Hoe believes there is a silver lining in their defeat to UAE in their Group G Asian Qualifiers clash on Tuesday.

Malaysia went ahead inside the first minute against UAE but were denied a win as Ali Makhbout scored a brace to edge the home team in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualifying tie at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium.

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After winning their first match against Indonesia, Tan said his side struggled to show the killer instinct in front of goal despite dominating the first 20 minutes of the match.

“The players showed a great performance but we couldn’t keep the same tempo and intensity. In the first 20 minutes, we should have scored more goals. UAE had two chances and they scored,” lamented Tan.



“I’m happy with the performance but we should, at least, gotten a draw for this match. The players knew that they neededto raise the tempo in the match because they were playing against a quality team. Any chances that we created, we needed to score.

“Overall the players have been progressing very well. They are doing their best and playing the way we want to play. We’ve been playing with high tempo, high pressing and keeping the ball. It is not easy but everyone watching the game knows we should have scored more in the first 20 minutes,” he added.

Tan urged his players to learn from the defeat ahead of their tricky trip to Southeast Asian rivals Vietnam on October 10.

“You cannot deny the commitment of the players. They played with their heart but there are certain individuals who need to improve on the transition and passing. We also need to improve on defending and closing the spaces because we were caught on the counter-attack.

“We had a tough game against Indonesia but this is a good learning curve for the players. I’m sure we will learn from our mistakes and it will motivate the players to improve. We can expect the same challenge when we face Vietnam and Thailand next,” said Tan.

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