By Azidan Nahar and Azlan Muhammad Zain
JAKARTA: National chief coach Stephen van Huzien said he will shoulder the blame of losing to Japan in the final of the Asian Games on Saturday.
"I am fully responsible for the defeat, as my players gave everything they had in the match.
"There were also some decisions (by the umpires) which did not side us," said van Huizen.
However, he said such incidences do happen in sport, when the opponents rise their game, while those with a comfortable lead keep making mistakes.
"It is very painful, it (the pain) will be with me forever, it (gold) was in our hands but we let it go," said van Huizen after the final.
Malaysia were leading 5-2 at one stage, but allowed Japan to fight back and draw 6-6 before winning the shoot-out 3-1.
Van Huizen said everybody in the squad is equally shattered, as they almost qualified for the Olympics.
"If the Malaysian fans are disappointed we failed to win gold, imagine our feelings. We know the silver is still precious, but we wanted gold," said van Huizen.
On the match, Van Huizen said he had reminded the players not to go for a big win, as a one-goal victory would be enough, but because of certain reasons as well as being nervous, everything fell apart.
Sunday, September 2, 2018
JAKARTA: National No 1 goalkeeper S. Kumar said his heart shattered into pieces after Malaysia lost 3-1 in shoot-out to Japan in the final of the Asian Games on Saturday.
He did not hide his disappointment, as Malaysia had taken a 5-2 lead, before Japan fought back to draw level at 6-6 and then win the shoot-out.
Japan, as hosts of the 2020 Olympics, did not need the gold medal as much as Malaysia did to qualify.
"What else can I say? I am heartbroken. We played so well to take a 5-2 lead and at that juncture, I already started thinking that we will win gold and qualify for the Olympics.
"We (all the players) need to accept the defeat and be happy with the silver medal. We should have killed off them match with our early lead, but we let Japan back into the match," he said when met after the sizzling final.
Malaysia have yet to win gold in the Asian Games after 60 years of competing, and the script on Saturday was same as Guangzhou, China, in 2010 where Malaysia lost to Pakistan in the final. - BERNAMA