Watching the Malaysian national soccer team playing in the AFF Suzuki Cup just now is a heartbreaking experience. Call me stubborn but I always hold hope for the national team even when others are so pessimistic of it. That is probably why it hurts every time the team loses. The match that Malaysia lost just now is doubly painful because we could have come out better but failed.

The score was two all when an unbelievable goal was scored against Malaysia very late in the game. With the national goalkeeper standing so far from his goal line at the edge of the penalty box, a Vietnamese player had the audacity to try his luck from the middle of the field. And it outrageously went in. Malaysia tried to fight back but the final whistle came too soon.

Malaysia came into the second match against Vietnam with a win in hand. With Thailand stays await in the third and final tough group match, Malaysia really needed to do well against Vietnam, especially so when Malaysia and Vietnam are equal in terms of strength. If Malaysia had drawn with Vietnam, Malaysia would only need to draw with Thailand. Malaysia could have drawn with Vietnam if the third Vietnamese goal had not gone in. The third goal is so out of this world that I am still having trouble digesting it.

All hope is not lost of course. Malaysia could theoretically advance to the next stage by beating Thailand, if Vietnam failed to match Malaysia’s goal difference. There is hope but Thailand is a regional power house. It is going to be a tough game.

To make the situation more depressing, it is unlikely for Laos to come on top of their match against Vietnam. Not only Laos is a lowly minnow, Laos would really have no incentive to give any resistance to Vietnam in their final match, especially if Thailand is to win against Laos — the ongoing match — which is very likely. The ongoing Thailand-Laos game is likely to become a goal fest in honor of all Thais all around the world.

Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved

p/s — by half time, it is 4 for Thailand, nil for Laos.

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