A first half blitz by Dollah Salleh’s men was enough to see off Vietnam at the My Dinh Stadium and booked their place in the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup final.
Vietnam began the match with a 2-1 lead from the first leg, but it soon disappeared within the first 15 minutes as Malaysia started the game with all guns blazing.
Safiq Rahim immediately scored from the penalty spot on the 4th minute after Indra Putra Mahayuddin was taken down inside the box by Que Ngoc Hai.
11 minutes later, Norshahrul netted his first goal of the competition into an empty net after Vietnam’s goalkeeper misjudged Amri Yahyah’s long ball.
Vietnam briefly restored their aggregate lead when Le Cong Vinh slotted home a penalty after a foul by Amri, but defender Dinh Tien Thanh then accidentally deflected Indra Putra’s cross into his own net to give Malaysia a 3-1 lead.
With his team falling behind, Vietnam coach Toshiyaki Miura made changes and brought on Le Tan Tai for Ngo Hoang Thinh to shake things up, but it was Malaysia that found the back of the net again.
Shukor Adan, fresh from serving a one-match suspension, scored his side’s fourth goal of the match when he glanced in Fadhli Shas’ flick at a corner on the 43rd minute, giving Malaysia a 4-1 lead going into the half-time break.
Malaysia began the second half with an expected defensive stance as Vietnam took the majority of the possession and goal-scoring chances.
A deflection inside the Malaysia box on the 63rd minute almost allowed Anh Hai Nguyen to pounce on it before S. Kunanlan, who started in place of Mahali Jasuli, brilliantly nicked the ball away.
On the 79th minute, Shukor and Kunanlan failed to deal with a long ball, allowing Cong Vinh to score his second of the night and pull one back for Vietnam.
However, Malaysia held on to seal a 5-4 aggregate win and become the second team ever to overturn a first-leg deficit since the home-and-away format was introduced in 2004.
They will now take on Thailand in the first leg of the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup final on December 17.
(Picture: Khairil Ajhar Jaafar/asiana.my)comments