It was a day to forget for both Malaysia men's and women's football teams at the 2019 SEA Games after both teams lost to hosts Philippines on Friday.
Ong Kim Swee's side, who drew 1-1 with Myanmar in their opening match, lost 1-0 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The junior Azkals started off aggressively and launched several quick attacks that put the Malaysia under-22 squad on their defence.
Hardly threatened by the young Tigers, the hosts found the net when a corner kick taken by Stephan Schrock was not dealt with properly by goalkeeper Haziq Nadzli, giving Amani Aguinaldo the chance to slam in the only goal of the match in the 72nd minute.
With Myanmar beating Timor-Leste 3-1 in an earlier Group A match, they became the group leaders with seven points, followed by Cambodia and Philippines with four points each, Malaysia (one point) and Timor-Leste (zero).
Malaysia, who won silver in the previous edition, next face Timor-Leste on Monday before completing the group stage against Cambodia on Wednesday.
Despite facing an uphill task to reach the knockout stage, Ong remained confident that his side could still make it to the knockout stage.
"The players must buck up now and show character to win the next two matches.
"Mathematically we still have a chance to advance to the semi-finals," he said.
Meanwhile, in women’s football, the national squad were thrashed 5-0 in their opening Group A match at the Binan Football Stadium.
Jacob Joseph's squad must beat Myanmar on Monday to qualify for the semi-finals.