Malaysia scrap for win over Cambodia

Stunned by an early strike, Malaysia came from behind with late goals by skipper Amri Yahyah in their AFF Suzuki Cup Group B opener against Cambodia to win 3-2. 

Cambodia looked far more potent in the final third despite having less of the ball and deserved three points and Malaysia coach Ong Kim Swee will be demanding for improvement with presumably tougher matches up ahead.

Cambodia stunned Malaysia in the eighth minute after Chan Vathanaka was left with only Khairul Fahmi Che Mat to beat.

The forward rounded the goalkeeper before slotting the ball in and it led to vehement protests by the Tigers as the linesman had his flag up for offside, but referee Abdul Baqi Yacoob Said Abdullah allowed the goal.

Malaysia, who were looking confident before the goal, lost their rhythm and had little to show for despite holding possession.

The Tigers got their equaliser when Syazwan Zainon cut back after collecting a diagonal long ball from Irfan Fazail and unleashed a shot past Sou Yaty in the 37th minute.

The Kedah winger almost scored a similar goal early in the second half but it was Cambodia who took the lead again as Chan got past Matthew Davies and Shahrul Saad for his second under the scorching heat.

Lee Tae-Hoon’s men looked more likely to score thereafter but it was Malaysia who got an equaliser after Ahmad Hazwan Bakri went past two defenders before providing for Amr in the 69th minute.

Amri scored another in the 80th minute to complete a turnaround but it was in general a lacklustre performance by Ong’s men.

Main Photo: FAM/