Malaysia's brave AFC Under-23 run ends against South Korea

Ong Kim Swee's charges refused to back down without a fight but it was the end of the road at the AFC Under-23 Championship after a 2-1 loss to South Korea in the quarter-final on Saturday.

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Malaysia, who made their debut in the competition this edition, have defied odds to reach the last eight but they simply didn't have enough to overcome the Koreans.

The Koreans left Malaysia stunned barely half a minute into the match as they took the early lead. Cho Jae-Won rocketed in a shot from a tight angle after getting the better of Matthew Davies with the ball dipping into the back of the net despite a flailing touch from Haziq Nadzli.

Malaysia managed to hold off an early Korean onslaught but they struggled to really get into the match until the second half

The Young Tigers clawed their way back into the half but they struggled to really make their mark until the second half.

But it was Kim Moon-Hwan who should have doubled South Korea's lead close to the hour mark but he failed to control the header as Haziq was rooted to the spot.

Malaysia were then rewarded, as they got their equaliser through second-half substitute N. Thanabalan after he headed home Safawi Rasid's cross in the 67th minute. 

The goal, however, sparked Korea to lift their game and while they were denied by excellent goalkeeping on a number of occasions, there was no stopping Han Seung-Gyu as he rounded Haziq for a simple finish to score the winner in the 85th minute.

Photo: Football Association of Malaysia