Safawi brace as Malaysia stun defending champs South Korea

Safawi Rasid fired a first-half brace as the Malaysia Under-23 stunned defending Asian Games champions South Korea 2-1 to top Group E and confirm their place in the last-16 on Friday.

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Not even the introduction of Son Heung-min could inspire the Koreans, who failed to breakdown the resilient Malaysians despite dominating the lions share of possession.

Malaysia came into this game with a clear game plan, to sit back in numbers and press their opponents hard in the final third.

That strategy paid off after just five minutes, thanks to a huge stroke of good fortune.

Haziq Nadzli pumped a long ball upfront, and Safawi charged at it as Korea goalkeeper Song Bum-keun came to collect.

But the custodian also crashed into his defender, and the ball slipped from his grasp.

Credit to Safawi, who was alive in the box, lapped up that error to stroke home into an empty net and give the Malaysian a shock lead.

That howler jolted Korea into life, and they began to come at Malaysia with more intent.