By K. RAJAN (The Star) - SHAH ALAM: Youngsters Wan Zack Haikal Wan Noor and Ahmad Hazwan Bakri upstaged their senior team-mates in Malaysia’s 6-0 thrashing of Sri Lanka in a friendly at the Shah Alam Stadium last night.
Harimau Muda players Wan Zack and Hazwan bagged a brace and a hat-trick respectively while Azamudin Mohd Akil was also on target to end Malaysia’s seven-match winless run which started with a defeat to Taiwan in a World Cup qualifier last July 23.
Wan Zack started the rout with a quick double in the 26th and 27th minutes while Hazwan’s triple treat came in the 73rd, 80th and 90th. Azamudin scored in the 84th.
It was Malaysia’s biggest international win since their 5-0 drubbing of Lesotho on Sept 11, 2009.
The huge win over 181st-ranked Sri Lanka brought some relief to national coach Datuk K. Rajagopal and the FA of Malaysia (FAM) who are desperate to improve Malaysia’s current world ranking of 156th.
An elated Rajagopal praised his team’s performance last night and hopes the younger players will continue to give their senior team-mates some competition.
“I’ve always brought in youngsters to give them exposure and to compete with the senior players for places in the team,” said Rajagopal.
“The youngsters proved a point to their seniors last night and that can only be good for the team. I hope the competition for places in the team will keep the players on their toes.
“The team played well despite the Sri Lankan players keeping up their aggression even when they were 3-0 down.”
Sri Lanka manager Wasantha Wickramasinghe admitted his side was totally outplayed by the Malaysians.
“The big-margin loss worries us but we’re a young side and we need time to improve.”
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