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Harimau Muda Weekend: Malaysia u23 (4) – Laos u23 (1)

One of the effective ways for me to overcome Monday blues is to have a fun time on Sunday Evening and there is nothing more fun that having a great time going to a stadium to watch Harimau Malaya or Harimau Muda in action! Last Sunday, Malaysia U-23 National Team played host to Laos U-23 team for a friendly match in preparation for the Sea Games competition.

Being a fan of Harimau Malaya, I made the trip to the stadium with 2 other friends and my 5-year old nephew!

Stadium Shah Alam, a day after the Malaysian Cup final.

FAM claimed that Stadium Shah Alam is the next best Stadium after Stadium Bukit Jalil.

I agree. ‘Nice’ dirty plastic seats.

“Bumbung Berlubang”

And nice ‘clean’ stadium – just look at the floor.

I know the stadium is not under FAM but they should at least pick a more suitable venue. Stadium Kelana Jaya or Stadium UiTM would make more sense.

Nevermind FAM, I was there as a supporter of the national team and players and for the 90-minutes duration of the game I conveniently forget any links between FAM to our national team so that i can just enjoy the game.

Game started well for Malaysia with early pressure on Laos.

Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim (19) played a solid 90-minutes game despite him being among the youngest on the pitch at the age of 18 years old.

One thing that FAM actually did right was allowing everyone to enter the stadium for free. Turnout was quite good.

My nephew enjoying the ambience.

Many Malaysians brought their families along. A great family activity and who knows those little kids watching from the stand will one day become the next Safee Sali!

The players coming in for the second half with the score of Malaysia 0 – Laos 1

I wonder what’s in his mind. Hopefully 100% football!

Few minutes after the start of the second half, dark clouds arrived at the stadium along with series of lightning. The game went on but almost all fans including us scrambled to higher levels of the grandstand to avoid the rain.

Malaysia actually played better in the rain and scored 4 goals in the last 30 minutes of the game.

Goal!!

The ‘2nd-best’ football pitch in Malaysia was transformed into a paddy field.

This Laos player ‘tasting’ Stadium Shah Alam pitch.

Yellow card. Tackles were flying here and there as players get frustrated with the pitch.

While I enjoyed watching Malaysia scoring 4 goals, the highlight of the game was actually not the 11 Malaysian players but my focus was actually on the 12th player!

Introducing the Ultras Malaya.

I have watched them cheering for Harimau Malaya in almost all games from friendlies that I attended in Stadium UiTM and Stadium Kelana Jaya to high profile matches like against Singapore in the World Cup qualifiers. And there is no doubt that they are indeed the ‘12th player’ of Harimau Malaya.

Their loyal support can be seen during last Sunday’s game when the rest of the fans scrambled for cover from the rain, they did not move an inch.

Sure they are vocal and brutal with some of their chants but that shows their loyalty to the team. Win or lose, they never stop rooting for the team and it would be great for them to be formally acknowledged by FAM and being sent to support our team wherever they play.

Congratulations Ultras Malaya! Congratulations Harimau Malaysia! Next up: Sea Games 🙂

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Click the links below for my other Harimau Malaya related posts:
a) Harimau Malaya: Dulu, Kini dan Selamanya!
b) Malaysia 0 – Arsenal 4: An Interesting Lesson

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Over the years, I have created some aviation related videos of my experience flying.