Malaysia battled back from a goal down to beat Singapore 2-1, while Myanmar defeated Laos in Wednesday’s Group A football matches at the 2017 SEA Games.
Malaysia 2-1 Singapore
The hosts’ impressive win at the Shah Alam Stadium in Kuala Lumpur has put them on the verge of qualifying for the semi-finals.
Unfortunately for Singapore, the defeat has them facing elimination.
The match had started very well for the visitors, who inititally looked the better of the two teams, gradually asserting themselves as the first half progressed until they got their reward in the 37th minute.
Amiruldin Nodin fired in a powerful strike from 20 yards out, much to the disgust of Malaysia goalkeeper Haziq Nadzli, who shouted at his defenders for failing to contain the Singaporean’s run.
Hami Syahin nearly put them 2-0 up a few minutes, with only the upright preventing his curling free-kick from finding the target.
It needed a response from the Tigers in the second half, and they proved up to the task.
2017 SEA GAMES MEN'S FOOTBALL | 16TH AUGUST 2017
SINGAPORE [1-2] MALAYSIA pic.twitter.com/3sa8gkHV5B
— FA Malaysia (@FAM_Malaysia) August 16, 2017
Spurred on by their home fans, Malaysia created several half-chances, and finally drew level in the 68th minute thanks to Safawi Rasid, who had also rattled the crossbar at the end of the first half.
The talented winger beat two defenders before teeing up substitute Nor Azam Azih, who produced a composed finish from the left.
With the momentum now firmly on their side, Malaysia took the lead just five minutes later, albeit thanks to some good fortune.
After Matthew Davies sent in the cross, Safawi miscued his shot and hit a Singapore defender, causing the ball to fall kindly for substitute N. Thanabalan, who found the back of the net from close range.
Myanmar 3-1 Laos
Myanmar followed up their impressive 2-0 win over Singapore on Matchday One with another superb win over Laos at the UiTM Stadium, putting them in a strong position to qualify for the semi-finals.
After an extended period of dominance, Aung Thu – who scored both goals against Singapore – was on hand again to open the scoring for Myanmar in the 36th minute.
Laos refused to lie down, however, and Khampanh Sonthanalay would equalise on the hour-mark after latching onto a pass from Soukchinda Natphasouk.
It looked as if Laos might hold on for the draw, but with the match nearing its end, both Shwe Ko and Hlaing Bo Bo added injury-time goals in the space of three minutes to secure all three points.