PETALING JAYA: The shouts of Malaysia Boleh! echoed throughout the country – at homes, mamak shops, pubs, fields and even in cyberspace – as the Tigers brought home the AFF Suzuki Cup for the first time in 21 years.
Many mamak restaurants were crammed with hundreds of football fans who watched the match live on big screens.
“Superb, simply superb. I knew our players would win all along, so I wasn’t really scared like the others,” said 31-year-old Nordiana Shah with a wide grin on her face who watched the game from a restaurant in Section 14.
The furious pace of the match had the fans’ hearts thumping as they cheered and booed in equal measure, depending on how their beloved blue shirts were performing.
There was a loud cheer at the end when Safee Sali was selected for the Top Scorer award.
Ecstatic fan Noorazlee Abdullah, 44, lauded both teams.
“I’m very, very happy. The game was fair and both sides performed excellently. All I can say is, Malaysia is the best!” he exclaimed.
At another restaurant in Aman Suria, student Muhammad Syafiq Zahari said Indonesia’s first goal had him on the edge of the seat.
“But I’m so proud we won! Goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat was absolutely steady and confident ... he was great,” he said.
Meanwhile, Indonesian fans – despite their team trailing 3-0 from the first leg – had hoped for a miracle, and that their team would give Malaysia a thrashing.
Daniel Yen, 23, had predicted a 5-0 Indonesian win. “I am 100% excited even though I am studying in Australia now,” he said in a phone interview before the match.
Psychology graduate Ingrid Chaiyanli, 20, said she did not hold any personal grudge against the Malaysian fans who had shone laser pointer beams at the Indonesian players in Bukit Jalil.
At Dataran Merdeka, thousands of supporters turned up to watch the live telecast of match.
Most supporters wore yellow jerseys and repeatedly cheered Malaysia Boleh!
UiTM Seri Iskandar student Shaidatul Aishah Azha said her family from Selayang did not regret making the trip as the atmosphere was really electrifying.
Pensioner Abdul Kader Razak was happy to be among the crowd supporting the Malaysian team.
“I was standing throughout the game but I did not feel tired at all,” he said.
Marketing officer M Helmi Husni said events like this not only united the different races but helped local businesses to generate income.
His company had a booth which sold Malaysian jerseys, flags as well as football merchandise.