Malaysia struck an important 2022 FIFA World Cup/2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifying win as the Harimau Malaya edged Thailand 2-1 in a thrilling Group G match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Thursday.
Muhamadou Sumareh fired home the winning goal in the 56th minute to complete Malaysia's comeback following a superb second-half display from Tan Cheng Hoe's side.
The War Elephants under Japanese Akira Nishino's charge started well and took the lead after only seven minutes through Chanatip Songkrasin.
Malaysia remained calm and kept up the ruthless attacks before Brendan Gan put Malaysia back on level terms after slotting in a brilliant pass from Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) midfielder Syamer Kutty in the 26th minute.
The victory gave Malaysia their second win in the campaign after losing to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Vietnam, while Thailand tasted their first loss.
Cheng Hoe made a couple of changes in his starting line-up from the Vietnam loss in Hanoi last month, with Khairulazhan Khalid replacing Farizal Marlias as the goalkeeper, Syahmi Safari taking over from Matthew Davies and Syafiq Ahmad replacing Norshahrul Idlan Talaha as the striker.
The adjustments appeared to produce a more lethal attacking approach and a much better performance in defence as Malaysia managed to keep their cool throughout 90 minutes.
Thailand, who were ranked 109th in the world, had a golden chance to at least get a draw in the 81st minute but Khairulazhan made an important save to deny Supachok Sarachat's effort.
Malaysia had several chances in the closing moments to add more goals, but in the end the game ended in a 2-1 win.
Elsewhere in Group G, Vietnam defeated UAE 1-0 at the My Dinh National Stadium to top the group with 10 points.
Malaysia currently sit fourth, sharing six points with UAE, while Thailand are in second place with seven points.
Fri Nov 15 2019
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