Malaysia defeat Myanmar 3-1, advance to semis

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Shah Alam
– Malaysia advanced to the semifinals of the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games football competition after defeating Myanmar 3-1 in their third Group A match at the Shah Alam Stadium tonight.

Playing before more than 70,000 home fans, one point would have suffiiced for Malaysia to qualify for the semifinals but Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s boys showed what they were capable of tonight.

Three changes Kim Swee made in the first eleven including playing striker N.Thanabalan clearly paid off as the Felcra FC player scored a brace to ensure Malaysia secured three full points.

His first was quite simple really, just kicking home a pass in the box after the Myanmar defence lost their bearings.

Two minutes later Johor Darul Ta’zim player Muhammad Safawi Rasid nodded home a cross supplied by S.Kumaahran to make Malaysia two up.

Stunned by the deficit Myanmar piled on the pressure and nearly scored in the 40th minute but Aung Thu’s piledriver was saved by Malaysian keeper Muhammad Haziq Nadzli to keep the score 2-0 at the break.

In the second half, Malaysia showed they were hungry for more but the disciplined Myanmar defenders kept Malaysia at bay.

But in a speedy counterattack in the 86th minute, Thanbalan’s diving header beat the Myanmar keeper for Malaysia’s third.

However, the visitors did not give up and their substitute Than Paing managed to score a consolation goal in added time.

The result put Malaysia in second place in the group although they have the same points as Myanmar, nine each, However, Myanmar have played all their matches and Malaysia will just need a draw against Laos in their last match on Wednesday to top the group. – Bernama