| JAKARTA (13 July 2008) – Four goals in the second half gave Australia a perfect record as they beat Malaysia 4-1 on the third day of the AFF Under-16 Youth Championships here at the Stadion Lebak Bulus.
Following a first half deadlock, Australia had two goals each from Kamal Said Ibrahim (51st and 55th minute) and Kerem Bulut (83rd and 90th) to thank for their win.
Malaysia scored the only goal in the game off D. Saarvindran in the 62nd minute.
“We were comfortable in the first half and as long as we have the opportunity to score, we knew that we can win this game,” said Martyn Crook, the head coach for Australia.
“We controlled the match but I was a little concerned with Malaysia’s ability on the break as they have some good players. However, we were a little sloppy after going 2-0 in front but this are some of the things which the players need to work on.”
A more defensive-minded Malaysian side took to the field this afternoon with Australia showing confidence following from their 6-0 beating of hosts Indonesia two days earlier.
And they were simply oozing with confidence as they tested Malaysian custodian Kelvin Wong early in the third minute with a free kick from Jared Lum which went across a yawning Malaysian goalmouth.
With Malaysia not letting up in terms of space, Australia became increasingly frustrated as they committed several off-sides on a trot.
But it was Malaysia who had the first real look at goal in the 20th minute when Muhammad Bukhari Idris was fed by Garry Steven Robbat but the former just took a tad too long for the finish.
Two minutes later, Australia replied off Nikola Stanojevic but after beating marker Mohd Alif Fadhil Ismail, he blasted the ball wide.
Stanojevic ended the first half for Australia with a limp grounder which Malaysian keeper Kelvin had little difficult in saving.
But the second half turned out to be a stark contrast to the first with five goals being scored – much to the delight of the several hundred fans.
In the 51st minute, a defensive error allowed Ibrahim to slam home while four minutes later; he was on target again with a header from a cross off Million Mwenge Butshire.
Malaysia then gave themselves a glimmer of hope in the 62nd minute off a solo effort from Saarvindran but despite their persistence, they just not resist Australia’s physical strength.
Seven minutes to the end, Bulut extended the lead for Australia with a wicked header while deep in injury time, he made good on a rebound to punish Malaysia for the fourth time in the match.
“We conceded most of the goals off aerial balls and that showed how superior Australia are with their height,” said Lim Kim Chon, the head coach for Malaysia.
“We made several mistakes from the flanks and that allowed Australia to waltz in the crosses. But generally, I was happy with the overall performance of the players.”
TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE and RESULTS
1. AUSTRALIA 9pts (+12)
2. MALAYSIA 3pts (+1)
3. BAHRAIN 3pts (=)
4. SINGAPORE 0pt (-8)
5. INDONESIA 0pt (-6)