Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia and Hong Kong played out a 0-0 draw on Saturday as the two sides completed preparations ahead of this week’s 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
Malaysia, who squandered numerous chances to seal a win at the Shah Alam Stadium, are now set to entertain Group A rivals Timor-Leste on Wednesday, while Hong Kong - no doubt buoyed by a respectable away draw against Dollah Salleh’s men - will host Bhutan in a Group C encounter.
Indeed, it was Hong Kong who went closest to opening the scoring, Chan Man Fai forcing Malaysia goalkeeper Farizal Marlias into action as early as the 11th minute.
The hosts duly responded with two chances of their own. First, livewire Indra Putra Mahayuddin swung in a delightful free-kick which Junior Eldstal narrowly failed to reach, before a Joseph Kalang Tie thunderbolt was tipped over the bar by an alert Yapp Hung Fai.
Kitchee midieilder Xu Deshuai then saw substitute goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi react smartly to turn the Kitchee player’s free-kick onto a post and away to safety.
Malaysia had chances to win the game late on, but both Afiq Azmi and experienced striker Safee Sali failed to find the target much to the disappointment of the home crowd.