Malaysia scores 3-0 victory over Maldives to keep up winning momentum

By , in Nation Sports on .

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 — Malaysia continued their winning momentum ahead of the Asean Football Federation (2022 AFF Cup) competition with a 3-0 convincing victory over the Maldives in an International Tier 1 friendly at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras.

Head coach Kim Pan Gon had made drastic changes to the side by retaining only four players from the squad that beat Cambodia 4-0 in another Tier One friendly match last Friday.

In today’s match, Malaysia set the pace right from the start and created a worthy chance in the 11th minute but Darren Lok’s commendable effort from a Brendan Gan pass was denied by the stretching legs of Maldives goalkeeper Hussain Shareef.

The missed chance, however, did not dampen the spirit of the home side as the attacking prowess continued until Darren made up for his earlier miss by swiftly finishing off a pass from skipper Muhammad Safawi Rasid in the 24th minute.

Malaysia ranked 146th in the world could not add to the tally until both teams went into the dressing room.


The second half started on a better footing for the home side and Muhammad Faisal Abdul Halim struck in the 64th minute, finishing off a solo run, to give the 6,000-odd fans a reason to cheer.

Inspired by Muhammad Faisal’s goal, Pan Gon’s boys were all over the Maldives but lacked the finishing touches, especially in the 68th minute when Faisal’s header missed the target and another attempt three minutes later was on target but was saved by the goalkeeper.

The introduction of Naturalised player Lee Tuck for Muhammad Safawi gave a quick impact when his thundering header rocked the crossbar in the 85th minute but three minutes later he made sure his attempt counted when he finished off a pass from Muhammad Azam Azmi Murad.

Meanwhile, Pan Gon is expected to name his 23-member squad for the 2022 AFF Cup soon, after identifying the five players who will be dropped from the current squad of 28.

Malaysia open their AFF Cup campaign in Group B against Myanmar in Yangon on Dec 21, followed by their second match against Laos at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Dec 24, before facing Vietnam in Hanoi on Dec 27 and Singapore in Bukit Jalil on Jan 3.

Malaysia, the champion in 2010, finished in the runner-up spot on three occasions, 1996, 2014 and 2018.

In the 2020 edition, the team failed to advance past the group stages in Singapore.

NMT as reported by Bernama

Recommended articles