Costly Singapore errors gift Malaysia Nations Cup win

Malaysian reached the Nations Cup final after defensive lapses by arch-rivals Singapore provided a 3-0 win for the hosts in Malacca. 

Costly errors by Singaporean Under-21 custodian Zharfan Rohaizad undid Richard Tardy's men as the hosts booked a date with regional powerhouse Thailand for Sunday's final of the Under-21 competition at the Hang Jebat Stadium.

The neighbouring countries were eager to steal an advantage over each other ahead of the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur and while play was balanced with both teams enjoying a fair amount of time on the ball to work their magic, the Malaysians benefited from Zharfan's lapse at the back.

Frank Bernhardt's men came out strongly from the beginning, looking to stamp their mark early on.

The goal came just four minutes into the match after Zharfan failed to catch Jafri Firdaus Chew's long-range free-kick, leaving winger Safawi Rasid with the simplest of finish barely a feet away from the goal line.

The Malaysians looked confident but things soon changed as the visitors settled into the match and centre-backs Faris Shah Rosli and Adib Zainuddin had to stand firm.

Zharfan's failed attempt to get hold of a loose ball seven minutes after the break allowed half-time substitute Syafiq Ahmad to double the lead. The goal came just a minute after Jafri wasted a counterattack for the Tigers.

Winger Nur Syamie Iszuan Amin scored Malaysia's third after the defence failed to clear Farhan Roslan's cross in the 83rd minute.

Thailand defeated Vietnam 2-0 in the earlier tie. Singapore will meet Vietnam in the third-fourth placing match, which takes place at the same venue before the final.