AFF Cup: Malaysia Leave It Late Against Laos

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Malaysia staged a late show in the opening game of Group B of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2008 to beat Laos 3-0 at the Surakul Stadium.

Following a first half deadlock, substitute Mohd Safee Sali nailed a brace with goals in the 68th and 90th minute as Indra Putra Mahayuddin scored the other goal in the 72nd minute for the win.

"I have already maintained from the onset that Laos were going to be difficult," said B. Sathianathan, the head coach for Malaysia.

"But like what I have said before, we need to be more consistent and we saw tonight that we played better in the first half than in the second."

The heavy rain just before the start of the match affected the quality of the pitch as both teams struggled to maintain possession and make the clean passes in slippery conditions.

It was Malaysia who dictated the early pace with Shukor Adan and Mohd Hardi Jaafar stoking the engine room for the strike pair of Hairuddin Omar and Indra Putra Mahayuddin.

But in spite of the early effort, Malaysia just can't seem to break through the Laotian defence which defended in numbers.

The best that they could muster in the opening half was two freekicks which came frustratingly close off Hardi and Indra Putra Mahyuddin.

Laos finished the half with a superb attempt from Phayvanh Lounglath but his freekick saw an equal block from Malaysian custodian Mohd Helmi Eliza Elias.

Malaysia then made several changes after the break when they brought on Zaquan Adha Abdul Razak for Mohd Hardi Jaafar and Mohd Safee Sali for Mohd Amirulhadi Zainal.

That change the rhythm of the game as Malaysia pushed forward and in the 68th minute, they finally broke the deadlock when Safee blasted in a corner from Indra.

Four minutes later, Malaysia went 2-0 off a freekick from Indra who slammed home to the right of the Laos goal.

Safee then wrapped up the night with the third goal deep in injury time.

"We tried to push forward but we have to realized that we were playing against professionals while our team is just amateurs," added Saysana Savatdy, the head coach of Laos.

"I believe that the players are capable of playing better and we definitely have to improve for the next game (against Thailand)."

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AFF Cup: Malaysia Leave It Late Against Laos Reviewed by admin Ucop on 5:53 PM Rating: 5

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