KUALA LUMPUR: "It was not a beautiful game."
Coach Kim Pan Gon said his Harimau Malaya players just did enough to beat Myanmar 1-0 in Wednesday's AFF Cup Group B game in Yangon.
Faisal Halim turned hero by scoring Malaysia's winner in the 52nd minute, while goalkeeper Syihan Hazmi saved a Myanmar penalty in stoppage time.
"Although it was not a beautiful game, the players played to instructions and won," said Pan Gon after the match.
"We defended well and did not allow Myanmar many opportunities. It was not pretty but I am happy with the performance."
Malaysia, who returned here today, will face minnows Laos, who were thrashed 6-0 by Vietnam on Wednesday, in their next Group B match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
"Against Laos, I will prepare my players accordingly and hope to win the game.
"I do not want to take credit. It is not about Pan Gon's magic. I am just a coach who guides, the players do all the work."
Malaysia have only seven regulars who played in the Asian Cup qualifiers for the AFF Cup.
The seven are captain Safawi Rasid, Kalamullah Al-Hafiz Mat Rowi, Darren Lok, Khuzaimi Piee, Syihan Hazmi, Faisal Halim and Dominic Tan.
FA of Malaysia (FAM) technical director Scott O'Donell said the new-look team's promising run offers Pan Gon a pleasant headache ahead of the Asian Cup next year.
"This team have depth, and it is a good sign ahead of the Asian Cup," said O'Donell.