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NST Online: Sports


Football: Malaysia in control

Posted: 23 Feb 2011 03:55 PM PST

2011/02/24
By Ajitpal Singh and Devinder Singh
nstsport@nstp.com.my


 Malaysia’s  Wan Zaharul Nizam celebrates after scoring against   Pakistan  yesterday. — Picture by Osman Adnan

Malaysia's Wan Zaharul Nizam celebrates after scoring against Pakistan yesterday. — Picture by Osman Adnan

MALAYSIA enjoyed a good start to their Olympic Asian Zone Qualifying first round campaign by overcoming 10-man Pakistan 2-0 in the first leg at the Shah Alam Stadium yesterday.

It was rather a comical display from the Pakistan side who added spice into the match by resorting to rough play.

Coach Ong Kim Swee had instructed his chargers to go on the offensive from the start for an early goal and he got what he wanted when Wan Zaharul Nizam Wan Zakaria scored in the fourth minute.


The midfielder picked up a loose ball from outside the penalty box following a corner kick clearance and rifled home a shot past Pakistan goalkeeper Yousuf Ejaz Butt.

Malaysia picked up the pace and had several good opportunities to extend their lead through K. Gurusamy's free kick, which hit the crossbar in the 15th minute and also Ahmad Shakir Ali's attempt from an acute angle, which went wide two minutes later.

The match slowly turned into a physical game with Pakistan guilty of rough play on several occasions.


In the 45th minute, striker Ansar Abbas was flashed a red card by Hong Kong referee Liu Kwok Man for kicking Malaysia goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, after he had caught an aerial ball.

Right after the incident, midfielder Irfan Fazail extended Malaysia's lead. He picked up a loose ball following a poor clearance from a Pakistan defender before firing home from outside the penalty box.

Pakistan coach Tariq Lutfi, in desperation, replaced his keeper Yousuf with Muhammad Umer in the second half in hope to keep the score down against an inspired Malaysian side.


Muhammad turned out to be a huge stumbling block for the homesters as he made several splendid saves, including denying striker Ahmad Fakri Saraani on three occasions.

The keeper first denied Ahmad Fakri with a splendid finger tip safe in the 58th minute before blocking two shots from inside the box in the 60th and 66th minutes.

Realising that the Malaysian game was getting stale, Kim Swee substituted Ahmad Shakir, Wan Zaharul Nizam and Fandi Othman with S. Sivanesan, Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor and Ferris Danial to add more depth and creativity.

Malaysia continued to press hard but could not increase their lead against Pakistan, who played the entire second half with 10 players.

The return leg is on March 9.

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Badminton: Tat Meng switches allegiance to Indonesia

Posted: 23 Feb 2011 03:53 PM PST

2011/02/24
K.M. Boopathy
boopathy@nst.com.my


Wong Tat Meng will be the first Malaysian to join the Indonesia BA (PBSI) as a singles coach.

Wong Tat Meng will be the first Malaysian to join the Indonesia BA (PBSI) as a singles coach.

WONG Tat Meng has resigned as women's singles coach and will soon become the first Malaysian to join the Indonesia BA (PBSI) as a singles coach next month.

Tat Meng, who tendered his resignation on Feb 11, will guide the national players until March 11, after which the Malaysian will team up with former national coach Li Mao, who is the singles head coach of Indonesia.

Tat Meng said he accepted PBSI's offer as it gives him the chance to gain experience outside Malaysia and also boost his coaching credentials with a leading badminton nation.


"I have been with the BA of Malaysia (BAM) for almost eight years and I decided to gain new experience in Indonesia. I will be reporting to Li Mao and will start work in another four weeks," said Tat Meng.

"It is also a good chance for me to widen my coaching knowledge and also meet new challenges in a new environment. Indonesia is one of the leading badminton nations and I have plenty to learn there.

"Having worked with Li Mao before, it will help me settle into my role fast."


Tat Meng joined BAM as a junior coach in 2003 and was made Li Mao's assistant in 2005 while also guiding Wong Mew Choo until 2008.

He joined the junior squad again in 2008 for three years and was made the national women's singles coach last September.

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