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Chelsea fail to spark in Malaysia

sports Updated: Jul 21, 2011 22:09 IST

AFP
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English giants Chelsea failed to shine under new boss Andre Villas-Boas Thursday in a friendly against Malaysia that was marred by racial abuse towards their Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun.

Unlike rivals Arsenal and Liverpool, who handed the Malaysian national side a firm beating, Chelsea struggled to break down a stubborn Malaysian Selection side made up of mostly Olympic Under-23 players.

It took a controversial goal by Didier Drogba in the 80th minute, from a free-kick, as the London side belatedly broke the deadlock at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur.

However, replays showed that the ball, which hit the post before bouncing off Malaysian goalie Mohamad Izham Tarmizi's back, did not cross the line.

Malaysia then had a glorious opportunity to equalise in the 85th minute, but A. Thamil Arasu shot wide after being put through with only the goalkeeper to beat.

The sour point of the match, however, was the constant booing of Benayoun -- the first Israeli to play in Malaysia -- in the first-half. Muslim-majority Malaysia has no diplomatic relations with Israel.