|After defeating Laos, Malaysia (yellow jersey) will next face Vietnam in at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on November 16 (Photo: foxsports)
In their first home match, the Malaysian players delighted the 12,000-strong crowd with a 3-1 win, even though the team was made to sweat by the compact and resolute Laos side led by Singaporean coach V Sundramoorthy.
Laos drew first blood at the 6th minute when Phithack Kongmathilath thumped in a free-kick past hapless Malaysian goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat.
The goal woke Malaysia up from as Harimau Malaya piled on the pressure with some slick passes and enterprising play.
The pressure paid off after Mohamad Zaquan Adha Abd Radzak finished off a brilliant passage of play between Muhammad Safawi Rasid and Muhammad Syahmi Safari at the 14th minute.
In the second half, Malaysia upped the ante but was guilty of missing several good chances. Lao goalkeeper Saymanolinh Praseuth was also impressive as he foiled several attempts.
At the 85th minute, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha proved to be the hero for Malaysia after he bundled in the ball in for Malaysia’s second goal.
At the 90th minute, the veteran forward capped his night by scoring a second to gift Malaysia to a 3-1 win.
Malaysia will next face Vietnam in at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on November 16 while Laos will play Myanmar in Vientiane.
Also on the same day, Myanmar came from behind to defeat Cambodia 4-1 to open its AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 campaign. Cambodia will have a week to recover ahead of their home match against Laos.
With two wins, Malaysia now temporarily tops Group A, gaining six points. Meanwhile, Myanmar rose to the second place with three points, equal to Vietnam’s but it has more goals.