Arsenal thrilled the fans with their very presence as they started their pre season tour with a 2-1 win over spirited Malaysia.
Labeled as the underdogs, our Malayan Tigers did not show any signs of fear or intimidation as they bravely passed the ball around to control the possession. Gervinho registered the game’s first effort on goal but Farizal Marlias calmly tipped away.
Minutes later, our free kick specialist Safiq Rahim’s managed to conjure up an effort that was saved by Italian goalkeeper, Vito Mannone. The atmosphere inside the stadium was fantastic as the home support made the right racket.
The Gunners showed their class as they passed the ball around with ease but Aidil Zafuan time and again saved Malaysia with his robust last ditch tackles. Moroccan hitman, Marouane Chamakh was man marked out of the game by Aidil Zafuan who stood tall against the physically strong striker.
Moments later, skipper Safiq Rahim threaded a neat through pass to Safee Sali whose shot was saved by Mannone. Safee certainly did well to escape his marker and let fly a shot from a tight angle.
As the first half was about to draw to a close, Azmi Muslim broke the deadlock with a stinging effort past the hapless Mannone. The 45,000 strong crowds erupted in rapture while the Gunners were left stunned by the goal.
Our boys went into the dressing room with their heads held up high as against all odds; they lead by 1-0.
The second half started with Arsenal trying to get their way back into the game. Arsene Wenger made numerous changes but Malaysia did well stroking the ball around with confidence. Safiq and Safee combined yet again but Safee’s effort was saved by Mannone.
Arsenal finally found the equalizing goal through youngster Thomas Eisfeld who scored after an excellent work down the right by Yennaris. Our boys seemed to be affected by fatigue as the backfour lost their shape.
Moments later, Chuks Aneke broke Malaysian hearts as his deflected effort bamboozled Farizal Marlias. That goal silenced the home crowd as our Malayan Tigers were denied a famous draw against the Gunners.
It was a cruel end to the game but we can be justly proud of our boys’ heroic efforts that nearly stung Arsene Wenger’s men with an upset.