BUKIT JALIL (8 June 2019) – Malaysia hammered Timor Leste 7-1 in their first-leg encounter of the 2022 FIFA World Cup / Asian Cup joint at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Friday.
“We played well to instructions and I hope the players can keep the momentum for the return leg. The scoreline looks impressive but it was not an easy match,” said Malaysian head coach Tan Cheng Hoe afterwards.
It was a night when Johor Darul Takzim’s Corbin Ong – playing only his second international match for Harimau Malaya – scored his first goal for the country with a header off a cross by his JDT teammate Safawi Rasid on the right to open the floodgates after 11 minutes.
Malaysia could have gone 2-0 up five minutes later but Safawi’s spot kick was saved by goalkeeper Aderito Fernandes.
And while Fernandes may have saved the penalty, he could not stop Shahrel Fikri from taking the score to 2-0 for the home team when he finished off a cross by Matthew Davies in the 23rd minute. Two further goals from Norshahrul and then Safawi just before the break.
The healthy scoreline somewhat saw Malaysia take the pedal off the gas and Timor Leste – coached by Japanese Nokio Tsukitate – pulled one back off a counter-attack in the 52nd minute. Skipper Joao drilled home a low shot past the on-rushing Farizal Marlias.
This woke up the Malaysians and they went to add three more goals Safawi (59th minute), Faiz Nasir (77th) and Akhyar Rasid (90th).
The return-leg will be played at the same venue on Tuesday.