KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today described Malaysia’s ability to reach the final of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup as a turning point in the history of Malaysian football.
The Prime Minister who was among 5,000 odd football fans who watched Malaysia hold Vietnam 0-0 in their second leg semifinal at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, through a ‘big screen’ live broadcast by Astro Supersport at Bukit Bintang here said it was also a revival of football in the country.
The 0-0 draw saw Malaysia advance to the final on a 2-0 aggregate, courtesy of a 2-0 win in the first leg semifinal, at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday.
“Although Malaysia did not score any goals tonight, it is not important because what is important is that it provided a turning point in the history of Malaysian football,” said Najib who joined fans and tourists to watch the match here Saturday night.
Najib added that though Malaysia were playing a more defensive game, the players showed a lot of determination to prevent Vietnam from scoring.
The Prime Minister who himself is a keen sportsman said the players also showed good discipline qualities and followed instructions from the coach that in the end proved to be vital for the win.
When asked of incentives for making the final, Najib said incentives should not be the main focus but success achieved first before receiving any incentives.
Najib who arrived at about 8.40pm, five minutes before the first half, wearing a short-sleeved shirt, was greeted with a thunderous applause by fans and well wishers when he sad down on the road with fans.
The Prime Minister who was accompanied by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery and his deputy Datuk Razali Ibrahim, watched the match until the final whistle.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Shabery who applauded coach K. Rajagobal and his boys for the win said good understanding and a high level of determination were the keys to their success.
Source : Bernama