KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — Harimau Malaya team manager Datuk Mohd Yusoff Mahadi has reiterated that coach Tan Cheng Hoe will continue to give his full commitment to the national team despite mourning the passing of his father, Tan Chooi Siak, 95, yesterday.
Cheng Hoe’s father died at home in Alor Setar about 12 hours before Malaysia’s 2-1 defeat by Vietnam in their Group G second-round 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates early this morning.
“We met him (Cheng Hoe) before the (Vietnam) game and, although he was grieving, he still promised to be fully focused on the match. In fact, even the players promised to give their best.
“A win would have probably helped ease Cheng Hoe’s pain but, unfortunately, it didn’t turn out as planned,” said Mohd Yusoff, who is also the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president.
He also hoped that the players will go for a win in their final group match against Thailand on Tuesday (12.45 am Wednesday Malaysian time) so as to boost team morale ahead of the next round of qualifiers in their quest for a spot in the 2023 Asia Cup Finals.
In today’s game, the Golden Dragons led through a Nguyen Tien Linh header in the 27th minute before the Harimau Malaya equalised from the spot through Guilherme de Paula in the 72nd minute.
However, Malaysia’s joy was shortlived when Vietnam were awarded a contentious penalty in the 82nd minute, which Que Ngoc Hai cooly slotted home to deny Cheng Hoe’s men a share of the spoils.
Vietnam, who are unbeaten in seven matches, top Group G with 17 points, followed by the UAE (15 points), Thailand (9pts), Malaysia (9pts) and Indonesia (1pt). — Bernama