Riding on a late strike from Syed Rahim Nabi, India came back from behind to hold Malaysia 1-1 in an International Friendly at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on Sunday.
Rahim Nabi found the back of the net in 85th minute after Rahim Safiq had put Malaysia in the lead in the 42nd minute.
The Indians started on a positive note and dominated in the first 30 minutes. The passing stayed impressive and the home side penetrated the rival defence on a number of occasions much to the thunderous applause of a full house. But the Indians couldn’t finish it off.
In the 17th minute, striker Sunil Chhetri came very close but missed by a whisker.
But Malaysia fought back strongly in the last 15 minutes of the half. They attacked relentlessly putting the Indian defence under pressure. They were eventually rewarded when Rahim Safiq put it past goalkeeper Karanjit Singh in the 42nd minute to put Malaysia in the lead.
Changing over, the Indians started with the same intensity as they had in the first half. Spurred on by the home crowd, the Indians launched a series of attacks. The equaliser came 85th minute when Rahim Nabi out-jumped the rival defence to head in Anthony Pereira’s corner.
Chief Coach Savio Mediera praised his players for the performance. “The boys played well and their hard work paid off. Obviously, there is a lot of scope for improvement. We need to work on ball possession and be a bit more disciplined.”
“We will definitely try to play better in our next game in Kolkata and hopefully get better results,” he added.
India next play Malaysia in the second International Friendly at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on November 16.