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Malaysia 3-0 Timor-Leste: Hazwan Bakri shines as Tigers impress in Larkin

Harimau Malaysia put one foot in the third round of the AFC Asian Cup after comfortably defeating Timor-Leste 3-0 at the Larkin Stadium in Larkin, Johor Bahru earlier tonight.

Datuk Ong Kim Swee headed into the game without team captain Safiq Rahim after the latter was ruled out of both play-off matches because of a thigh injury suffered in the final of the Superbest Power FA cup final against PKNS last month. The Malacca-born man selected five Johor Darul Ta’azim (JDT) players in his line-up whereas the others consisted three players from Selangor and a player each from Kelantan, Kedah and FELDA United.

Photo Credit: FAM
Photo Credit: FAM

The home side started the game well with Ahmad Hazwan Bakri, S. Kunanlan and Amirulhadi Zainal all playing an important and crucial part in the first ten minutes of the play-off match.

Harimau Malaysia opened the scoring on the 17th minute through Selangor striker Ahmad Hazwan Bakri after converting a beautiful cross from Johor Darul Ta’azim left-back Fazy Mazlan. The ex-Kuala Lumpur Football Association (KLFA) forward then doubled his country’s lead four minutes later, this time, finishing well from a Azrif Nasrulhaq cross.

Hazwan Bakri could have capped off the first half with hat-trick but his volley after a cross from S. Kunanlan hit the crossbar on the 28th minute. Five minutes later, Malaysia almost scored the third goal through Shahrom Kalam’s attempt but it just scraped off the crossbar.

Photo Credit: FAM
Photo Credit: FAM

The second half kicked off and Malaysia picked up where they left off in the first half when Amirulhadi Zainal’s shot on the 55th minute but was saved by Ramos Maxanches.

The tempo of the second half then slowed down towards the end of the half.

Amri Yahyah scored the third goal of the game on the 85th minute of the game.

The referee blew the final whistle and the return leg will be at the Larkin Stadium on June 6.

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