Airmarine Cup 2019: Malaysia finish third after an own goal helps them beat Afghanistan

Hosts Malaysia defeated Afghanistan 2-1 to finish third in the inaugural Airmarine Cup 2019 at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.

The match started with rain pelting down at the stadium and Afghanistan on the front foot. The Central Asian side was not afraid to go forward and stationed itself deep in the Malaysian box.

They were soon rewarded with a goal for the positivity they had shown since the start of the match. It was Faysal Shayesteh who got on the scoresheet with a curling left-footer from outside the box in the 32nd minute.

The hosts then pushed hard to get the equalizer and just at the stroke of half-time, Faiz Nasir was successful in getting one back. The Malaysian attacker shifted the ball onto his left and unleashed a shot in the top corner of the goal from 35 yards out.

The ball swirled and dipped just enough to hit the bar and go into the goal. Malaysia, naturally, were the happier team going into the break.

The second half was played with similar intensity but it was Malaysia who had better opportunities to go ahead. First Mohamadou Sumareh and then Norshahrul tested the Afghanistan goalkeeper but couldn’t go one better.

Then in the 84th minute, they got lucky as Abassin Laikhil dragged a corner into his own goal and handed Malaysia the victory on a plate. With the 2-1 win, Harimau Malaya finished the tournament as the third-best team.