Middle East, Oman
Teams: Real Madrid
Norizan laments lack of quality
KUALA LUMPUR – Under-fire Malaysia coach Norizan Bakar admitted on Saturday that his side does not have the quality to compete with their Group C opponents at the AFC Asian Cup.
Having dropped their opener 5-1 to China, the co-hosts shipped another five goals in a 5-0 trouncing by Uzbekistan at Bukit Jalil National Stadium, which all but eliminated them from the competition.
Norizan had been trying to restore some confidence in his team after their heavy defeat to the Chinese, but he found himself in a defensive mode once again when he faced the media after yet another debacle.
His main point in a rambling press conference was that his side were not equipped to compete at a higher level.
“We qualified for the tournament as hosts and we understand that we are playing at a different level,” said the Malaysia coach.
“But I have to say that the players, even though they know where they are, are still keen to represent their country and they are trying.
“These players are still trying to do something but when you talk about the aspects of the game, you have to talk about the level.“
The central Asian side took advantage of sloppy defending by the co-hosts to race into a 3-0 lead by half-time through goals by Shatskikh and Timur Kapadze and a stoppage time penalty by Ulugbek Bakaev.
Substitute Aziz Ibragimov and Shatskikh, with his second of the match, added late goals to pile the misery on the Malaysians.
“We lost to a better team. We tried to make corrections from our first match, but it failed,” said Norizan.
“It was a difficult game for us against a team that is physically stronger than us.
“We tried to match them and improve from our first game. But whatever changes we made, it did not work and I am not happy with the result.
”I reminded the players early in the match that they need to watch the crosses and the long balls, but somehow they lapsed in concentration.
”The players were trying to play with more urgency but at the end of the day, the Uzbeks had the advantage in terms of passing and all aspects of the game. When we tried to make good passes, they were intercepted and that only caused our defence to make more mistakes.
"We are not thinking about the losses but after two defeats, the psychology of the team would be affected,” he concluded.
Last edited by Real_Madrid; July 15th, 2007 at 08:57.