YANGON – The Harimau Malaysia squad put up a sizzling display to notch a narrow 3-2 win over Cambodia in the Group B opening match of the 2016 Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup at the Thuwunna Stadium, Yangon here today.
Earlier in the match, it was a big blow for the national squad when Cambodian striker Chan Vathanaka scored a controversial goal in the sixth minute.
Malaysian players protested the decision by referee Abdul Baqi Yaqoob Abdullah, from Oman, who allowed the goal despite the linesman having already raised the flag, as Vathanaka was said to be in offside position prior to scoring.
However, the national team fought back on the field and managed to score a goal against Cambodia in the 36th minute through left winger Mohd Syazwan Zainon.
The goal stemmed from a cross passing by Mohd Irfan Fazail to Mohd Syazwan who dribbled through the Cambodian defense before unleashing a powerful shot past the opponent’s goalkeeper, Sou Yaty.
The result remained 1-1 until the break.
In the second half, the Harimau Malaysia squad launched a series of relentless attacks in its bid to score, but an attempt by Mohd Syazwan went futile when the ball hit the goal post.
Malaysia continued to dominate the match, but luck was on Cambodia’s side after Vathanaka scored his second goal in the 58th minute.
Team captain Mohd Amri Yahyah equalised in the 68th minute after slotting in a short pass from a teammate.
Three minutes later, Mohd Irfan almost scored the third goal for the national squad, but the pole remained an obstacle.
Mohd Amri scored the winning goal for Malaysia in the 79th minute after taking advantage of a pass by a teammate.
The result remained 3-2 until the final whistle.
Malaysia is scheduled to play against Vietnam while Cambodia take on home team, Myanmar, in the second preliminary matches of Group B at the same venue on Wednesday. – BERNAMA