Malaysia pulled off a comeback to draw 2-2 with Vietnam in the first leg of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup final at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Tuesday.

Vietnam stunned the home crowd when they struck twice in a three-minute blitz through Nguyen Huy Hung (22nd minute) and Pham Duc Huy (25th).

Shahrul Saad reduced the deficit in the 37th minute before Safawi Rasid levelled the tie with a glorious free-kick in the 60th minute.

There’s still a lot to do in the return leg, to be held in at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi on Saturday, but no one said it would be easy.

Of course, Malaysia made it difficult for themselves, despite the vociferous support of a packed stadium.

In a bid to avenge their 2-0 loss to Vietnam in the group stage and their haste to get an early goal, the Harimau Malaya were punished.

Vietnam broke up an attack launched by Safawi in the 22nd minute and lobbed the ball high into Malaysia's box, which Amirul Azhan Aznan failed to control and fell to Nguyen to make it 1-0.

Three minutes later the packed stadium was silenced a second time when a Pham Duc Huy piledriver from outside the box beat Farizal.

Stunned into action, Malaysia began to retaliate and showed their mettle in the 37th minute off a well-worked free-kick set-piece.

Syamer Kutty Abba floated in a cross for Shahrul, running in unmarked, to head home from close range.

The second half saw Cheng Hoe shake things up, taking out Amirul for Syafiq Ahmad to add more bite to the attack.

After several close calls on either side, came the break Malaysia had been working hard to find when Safawi was clattered just outside the box in the 60th minute and Harimau Malaya were awarded a free-kick.

Safawi dusted himself and took the free-kick himself, curling the ball beyond the reach of Vietnam goalkeeper Dang Van Lam.

Cheng Hoe then threw on Akhyar Rashid to replace Norshahrul Idlan Talaha as his men went looking for the third goal, but it proved in vain.

Now, Malaysia have it all to do again on Saturday as they seek to lift the trophy for only the second time since 2010.