Match Report: Vietnam 2-4 Malaysia

Malaysia are through to the AFF Suzuki Cup final after securing a whopping 4-2 win against Vietnam earlier today, which effectively ensured their progression on a 5-4 aggregate score line.

Dollah Salleh’s men knew that they were heading into the game as massive underdogs following their first leg loss, but that did not deter them in any way as they started the game on an exceptionally bright note. Indra Putra was brought down inside the penalty box within the first two minutes and Safiq Rahim stepped up to fire home his fourth goal of the tournament, injecting much needed confidence into the Malaysian set-up.

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But 14 minutes later, the lead was doubled, much to the surprise and shock of the home fans. Norshahrul, whose last international goal came 14 months ago, fired home from close range to make it 2-0 on the day.

Vietnam pulled one back from the penalty spot, with Le Cong Vinh dispatching it comfortably. Malaysia though, were never going to cave in, as they restored their two-goal cushion, courtesy of an own goal from Tien Thanh.

If this was not enough, Shukor Adan made it 4-1 just before the break, sending the small group of Malaysian fans within the My Dinh Stadium into raptures.

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After the break, Dollah’s men continued to dictate the tempo, limiting Vietnam to attempts from outside the box. Van Quyet had a few shots that were easily saved by Farizal Marlias, though their efforts did pay a small dividend when Cong Vinh pulled one back after a defensive mishap, to make it 4-2.

That goal sparked a late onslaught from the Golden Stars, and Farizal Marlias was called into action on more than one occassion, within the span of 10 minutes. Van Quyet’s speculative attempt was also cleared away by the hardworking skipper, Shukor Adan.

Dollah was equally smart in bringing on two extra defenders as Vietnam started pumping balls into the box. Afif Amiruddin used his height, while Muslim Ahmad utilized his composure to further strengthen the Malaysian back-four and they effectively nullified all Vietnamese threats.

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When the referee blew the final whistle, the stadium experienced an eerie silence, while Dollah and co transitioned into celebratory mood!

They will now take on Thailand in the Suzuki Cup final, with the first leg scheduled to take place in Bangkok on the 17th of December. The return leg will take place three days later on the 20th, with Kuala Lumpur being the host.

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