SHAH ALAM – Malaysia lost 1-2 to Vietnam in a Group 1, AFC U-23 2016 Championship opening match at Shah Alam Stadium tonight.
Both teams played an entertaining game with action swinging from one side to another as soon as Australian referee Christopher Beath blew the whistle.
Malaysia drew first blood when skipper Nazirul Naim Che Hashim scored in the 33rd minute when his beautiful freekick from 25 metres out found the net.
Stung by the goal, Vietnam rallied with several attacks and were rewarded when midfielder Vo Huy Toan scored the equaliser in the 38th minute.
The goal fired up Vietnam who mounted a series of raids and were rewarded when striker Nguyen Cong Phuong scored the second goal in the 44th minute.
After the break, Malaysia mounted numerous raids in search of the equaliser but the players were let down by poor finishing and the solid Vietnam defence.
Japan whipped Macau 7-0 in an earlier match at Shah Alam Stadium.
Malaysia will play Macau at 4.30 pm while Japan will play Vietnam at 8.15pm on March 29. Both matches will take place at the same venue.