: After losing two international friendlies in a row, the Harimau Malaya (national squad) finally found their fangs.
They mauled Cambodia 4-1 in an international class A friendly at the Shah Alam Stadium, thus salvaging some pride after having come under severe criticism from home fans over the earlier two losses.
The squad coached by Dollah Salleh had lost 1-4 to Tajikistan in Dushanbe, on Aug 8 and were beaten 2-0 by Indonesia in Surabaya last Sunday.
Tonight, Malaysia got into the driver's seat as soon Brunei referee Mohd Hadimin Shahbuddin blew the starting whistle with Abdul Manaf Mamat and Ahmad Fakri Saarani leading the attack.
It did not take long, Sarawak captain Joseph Kalang Tie "stole" a ball from a defender in the eighth minute and slammed it past Cambodian keeper Sou Yaty.
Malaysia were gifted an own goal in the 15th minute when Moul Daravron deflected the ball into his own net from a clearance made by Sou Yaty.
In the second half, play was more even but Kalang Tie was not to be denied a brace when he drove home a cross supplied by substitute player Bobby Gonzalez in the 65th minute.
However, the Asean neighbours did not give up easily and found the mark during a lapse in concentration in the Malaysian defence resulting in Sok Chanraksmey getting their consolation goal in the 80th minute.
Built just two minutes later, Malaysia sealed their fate when substitute Baddrol Bakhtiar's piledriver from outside the box in the 82nd minute sailed home.
Dollah was all smiles after the match but said he was still on the look out for a killer striker who could convert half chances.
"The team performed well tonight but I feel we could have done better. Joseph displayed the kind of performance I was looking for but I have yet to find the 22 players I need for the AFF Suzuki Cup in November," he said.
Meanwhile, Cambodia's Head Coach Tae Hoon Lee on the other hand, praised Malaysia's performance which he said was a good learning experience for his young side as they were preparing themselves for the AFF Qualifier Tournament to be held in Laos on the middle of October.
"Malaysia have good players...our team needs to improve more tactically ...after this we have a friendly match with Indonesia on Sept 29 ahead of the AFF Qualifier Tournament in Laos," said the South Korean-born coach.
Harimau Malaya will next play a charity match against Terengganu at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium in Kuala Terengganu on Wednesday (Sept 24).
They will complete their international friendlies against Jordan on Oct 11 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil here.