| HO CHI MINH CITY (August 1, 2007) – Two goals that were scored against the run of play sped Malaysia to a 3-0 win over Singapore in Group A match of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Under-20 Championship at the Thanh Long Sports Complex here today.
Incoherent play by Malaysia in the first 20 minutes made Singapore the likelier team to get ahead through neater approach work by their forwards.
But when good approach work did not lead to goal scoring chances, a Malaysian counterthrust in the 29th minute saw Yusanee Saad heading home a cross from the left that caught the Singapore goalkeeper unawares.
More misfortune was to follow for Singapore when they had a player, Nurhazwan Shaik expelled for a second yellow card offence.
A man short, Singapore reeled before more confident opponents who went further ahead in the 34th minute through Ahmad Fakri Saarani.
Malaysia pressed ahead after halftime, using their numerical advantage to good effect.
On 63 minutes, Mohd Akmal Noor fed Firdaus Azizul who scored from close range.
However in the 75th minutes, the personnel situation on the field was evened out when Malaysia’s Muhammad Irfan Ghani was expelled for his second yellow card offence.
But by then Singapore were a beaten side, unable to string anything more than half-hearted attacks.
ON THE OTHER HAND, in another Group A match at the same venue, defending champion Myanmar outplayed Laos 4-0 after taking a 2-0 lead at the break.
The match started on a promising note with both teams showing nice touches but the Myanmarese looked the more capable of scoring because of a sharper taste for the attack.
In contrast the Laotians looked like they would rather engage in neat flicks and passes but if these did not lead to openings for a shot a goal, it did not matter.
Myanmar were more pragmatic, opting for the stiletto approach rather than for pretty indirection.
That remained the theme of the match with Myanmar gaining increasing reward for more direct and penetrative play compared to Laos’ pretty build-ups but no finishing.
Goals for skipper Ang Mung Kyaw Mo to be followed by those from Myint Naing and Zin Myo Aung completed the rout.