ISKANDAR PUTERI: National winger Mohamad Faisal Abdul Halim finally ended his goal drought after netting a goal when helping Malaysia beat Hong Kong 2-0 here, last night.

Mohamad Faisal, who admitted to being under pressure because he was not scoring goals, expressed relief and considered it as a start in his efforts to improve his performance to the best level.

“A bit of a relief but this is a good start for me actually. I need to add more effort and improve on what is lacking and tonight’s goal helps my spirit a little bit to continue the pace and find my goal-scoring touch.

“I am thankful and grateful to my family and wife who always pray (for me), (as well as) fans who gave so many words of encouragement and most importantly my teammates who made sure I didn’t feel disappointed,“ he said when met after the national team’s Tier 1 international friendly action against Hong Kong here, last night.

In the match at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium here, goals in the first half by Mohamad Faisal and Muhammad Akhyar Abdul Rashid ensured that Malaysia beat Hong Kong for the second time in a row after winning 2-0 in the first encounter in Kuala Lumpur in June last year.

The 25-year-old Selangor player, more affectionately called ‘Mickey’, had previously failed to score with the Red Giants in their first five matches of the 2023 Super League so far and the goal drought ended in the international friendly match last night.

Meanwhile, Mohamad Faisal said all the Harimau Malaya players understand the wishes of head coach Kim Pan Gon who wants a high-quality and high-intensity performance, but it will take a little more time to reach that level.

He said some things can’t be avoided when the players present undergo different training and need time to adapt to the game style exhibited by each player.

“Maybe there were times when we didn’t achieve what the coach wanted but we were able to carry out our responsibilities well after winning two international matches thus increasing the motivation of each player.

“Nevertheless, it’s not the best yet for the national squad because we need to make a lot of improvements and all the players need to work hard and can’t look back and instead have to continue to rise up with a higher quality game,“ he said. -Bernama