Brave Malaysia survive counter-attacking Cambodia
Malaysia vs Cambodia
Final Score: Malaysia 3-2 Cambodia (HT 1-1)
Thuwanna Stadium, Yangon, Myanmar
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Malaysia, AFF Suzuki Cup winners in 2010 and runners up two years ago, bravely came from behind twice to beat Cambodia in Yangon 3-2.
Two goals from Amri Yahyah saved the day for Malaysia in the opening game in Group B after Cambodian Chan Vathanaka also struck twice.
It was 1-1 at half time after Cambodia, winners of the Qualification Round, took a shock lead after seven minutes when Vathanaka scored a controversial goal. The linesman ruled him offside but the referee let play carry on as the through ball had come off a Malaysian player. The Cambodian sprinted through to score.
Malaysia’s Syazwan Zainon got the equalizer 30 minutes later but in the second half Vathanaka stunned the stadium again with another goal on the counter attack.
However, Malaysia’s constant pressure was rewarded when Amri scored a brace in the last 20 minutes.
8’ (0-1) Cambodia strike first with a controversial goal by Chan Vathanaka. He broke through on the right just over the halfway line but was adjudged off side by the linesman. However, to the amazement of the Malaysian defenders the referee allowed play to carry on and Vathanaka sped forward, dribbled past the keeper and slotted the ball home for a shock early lead.
37’ (1-1) A first international goal by Syazwan Zainon puts the Malaysians back in the game. A long ball out to Syazwan on the left wing sees the Malaysian skillfully cut inside Cambodian centre back Chhin Chhoeun and then with a sweet strike on his right foot brilliantly beat keeper Sou Yaty.
59’ (1-2) Chan Vathanaka gets his second goal and the lead back for Cambodia in brilliant solo fashion. Vathanaka latched onto a long ball into the box from Keo Sokpheng, cut in past Malaysians Matthew Davies and Shahrul Saad and emphatically smashed the ball into the back of the net.
69’ (2-2) Hazwan Bakri storms though from outside the box to the byline on the right beating the Cambodian defenders and slides the ball into Amri Yahyah who scores from close range to the relief of his team.
80’ (3-2) Amri Yahyah is the hero as he gets his second goal of the match and 15th of his international career after Safee Sali puts him though in the box again on the right. Amri beats the defenders and clinically puts the ball past the keeper.
First strike -
Amri Yahyah gets the game up and running after two minutes with the first shot on goal. However, his powerful header, after a pinpoint cross from Rizal Ghazali, goes straight at the Cambodian keeper who pushes the ball wide.
Soon after the half hour mark Syazwan Zainon cuts the ball back in from the left to let in Darren Lok, who is just outside the six-yard box, but Lok’s shot on goal is weak, and a great chance to equalize is gone.
An Amri special -
With two minutes before halftime Malaysian star Amri Yahyah fired in a brilliant shot from the edge of the box that shaved the left post.
Another Syazwan rocket -
Two minutes into the second half and Syazwan Zainon right foot is on fire again as he hits a blistering shot from the edge of the box that hits the crossbar. It could have one of the AFF Suzuki Cup’s finest goals!
Second chance for Chan -
Chan Vathanaka is put through after 50 minutes by Prak Mony Udom on the right and has just the keeper to beat but Khairul Fahmi makes a fine save.
It was an open goal -
After 55 minutes Prak Mony Udom fires in a rapid corner and Sam Peun Pidor faced with an open goal fails to deal with the pace of the ball and heads over.
More Crossbar drama -
With 20 minutes to go Malaysia hit the cross bar for the second time in the game following Irfan Fazail’s strike from the edge of the box.
Post match quotes
Malaysian Coach: Ong Kim Swee -
"It was a hard fought game as I expected. Most importantly we came back strongly after conceding two silly goals. Overall both teams struggled in the weather
and struggled to maintain their performance.
As I said before the game it wasn’t going to be an easy game. Cambodia has improved a lot and they prepared very well for the tournament. I don't think
any team will have an easy game against Cambodia.
I will watch Vietnam tonight and see what kind of players we can use against them. And obviously our lineup will be based on their strengths and based
on our strengths."
Cambodia coach: Lee Tae Hoon
"It was importance that our players got some experience from this game. We don’t have much experience playing in the final rounds and that showed on some
of our players today.
Our players have improved in terms of quality but we lack the winning mentality and spirit."