MALAYSIA - Malaysia opened their campaign in the 41st Merdeka Tournament by carving out a 1-0 win over traditional rivals Singapore at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan, while Myanmar and Thailand shared the spoils.
"We could not play our normal game as the heavy pitch conditions forced us to make changes to our style. We were guilty of not making use of the chances we created but one has to understand that we only trained together for a week whereas our opponents have been together for a long time," said Malaysia coach Ong Kim Swee.
For Singapore coach V. Sundramoorthy, the fact that he was without seven of his regulars cost them the match. "We fell asleep at the start of the second half and paid a heavy price as Malaysia scored. Still I believe with a fill team we can match any team at the SEA Games."
"I am happy with the overall performance of my players and perhaps we could have done better if the ground was not wet,” said Thailand head coach Kairung Threejasang.
Myanmar team manager Tin Myint Aung was equally happy with the outcome of the match but promised a better showing in the next. "Both teams played good football and this is good match."
Malaysia 1-0 Singapore
Thailand 1-1 Myanmar
9th Sep (Mon), 17:30 (Local time), Thailand v Singapore, at Stadium Darul Makmur
9th Sep (Mon), 20:45 (Local time), Malaysia v Myanmar, at Stadium Darul Makmur