World Cup dream over for Malaysian juniors

Malaysia’s dreams of competing at the Junior World Cup is now over after they were knocked out of the Junior Asia Cup by South Korea yesterday.

Every semi-finalist of the Junior Asia Cup would be allocated a slot to compete at the World Cup and Malaysia needed to manoeuver past regional powerhouse, South Korea. And at one point, it seemed entirely plausible.

Shahril Saabah fired a penalty corner home on the 6th minute mark, to break the deadlock. The hosts then went on to add a second goal through Sufi Ismat on the 31st minute, leaving the home fans ecstatic.

But South Korea kept pushing and capitalized on Malaysia’s complacency to pull one back through Ho Min Kim on the 61st minute. Two minutes later, the hosts responded by restoring their two-goal margin, thanks to Haziq Samsul.

In the final minutes of the game though, the South Koreans launched a blitzkrieg attack to score two goals, which effectively dragged the game into penalty shoot-out. The late comeback, allowed the Koreans a certain degree of edge, which translated into them converting four penalties in comparison to Malaysia’s solitary conversion.

The 4-1 win on shoot-out, allowed South Korea to progress into the semi-finals of the Junior Asia Cup as well as secure a spot to compete at the Junior World Cup, at the expense of Malaysia.

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