SINGAPORE – Malaysia’s Under-23 squad suffered an embarrassing first defeat in the 2015 SEA Games football competition when they went down 1-5 in their second Group B match at the Bishan Stadium here Tuesday night.
This is the second win for Vietnam coached by Toshiya Miura and saw them snatch the lead from Thailand on goal difference although both teams shared six points after two matches a piece.
In tonight’s action, Malaysia had a chance to go ahead as early as the second minute but D. Saarvindran’s piledriver was parried away by Vietnam keeper Phi Minh Long.
Vietnam who had mauled Brunei 6-0 in their opening match on Friday, were on the mark in the 11th minute from an attempt by Vo Huy Toan but referee Al Khudhayr Turki from Saudi Arabia ruled him offside.
Shortly after Vietnam were awarded a penalty when their striker was brought down in the box. Mac Hong Quan calmly slotted home the ball past Malaysia’s keeper Mohd Farhan Abu Bakar.
In injury time of the first half, Nguyen Cong Phuong fired home a pass supplied by Ho Ngoc Thang, sending some 1,300 Vietnamese supporters in the stands into rapturous joy.
On resumption, Vietnam continued to pile on the attacks and were rewarded with their third goal in the 47th minute, also a penalty, after Mohd Farhan brought down an opponent. Huy Toan made no mistake.
Cong Phuong piled on the misery for Malaysia when he netted himself a brace in the 53rd minute from a delightful shot that Mohd Farhan could not stop.
Substitute player, Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim scored Malaysia’s consolation goal in the 78th minute before Vietnam;s own substitute player Nguyen Van Toan sealed victory with their fifth goal a minute later.
Malaysia had beaten Timor Leste 1-0 in their opening match at the same venue on Saturday and are scheduled to meet defending champions Thailand next on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee said he was disappointed that his charges put up such a poor performance particulalrly the backline which gave away two penalties.
However, he asked his boys to forget tonight’s match and focus on the all important match against defending champions Thailand on Thursday.
He also noted that the absence of midfield maestro Muhammad Nazmi Faiz Mansor, who has been suspended six matches for spitting at a Timor Leste player on Saturday, had somewhat affected the rythym of the players.
Meanwhile, Miura was full of praise of his players for their suprise win against Malaysia who he considered a strong opponent in this biennial games.
He, however, reminded his charges to stay focused for their next match against Laos on Thursday to boost up their chances of making it into the semis.
In a Group A match, Myanmar defeated Indonesia 4-2 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.