Malaysia will hope to defend their title when they face Australia in the final of the AFF U18 Championship 2019 at the Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Monday.
Malaysia, who had lifted their first AFF youth title last year when they Myanmar 4-3 in the final in Indonesia, will face the young Socceroos in their third consecutive final appearance in the regional tournament.
The young Malaysian Tigers set up the final clash after defeating Indonesia 3-4 in a thrilling semifinal which was decided in the extra time. Mohammed Aiman Afif had given Malaysia the lead in the 19th minute, but Indonesia equalised in the 45th minute through Beckham Putra.
AFF U-19 Championship: Malaysia 4-3 Indonesia
Luqman Hakim Shamsudin made it 2-1 to the Malaysians in the 54th minute, but Fakhri Husaini’s boys scored twice in quick succession, with goals from Muhammad Fajar Fathurrahman and Muhammad Salman Alfarid, to make it 3-1 in their favour with just eight minutes left to play.
However, the reigning champions did not give up and equalised through Harith Haiqal Adam with a penalty in the 88th minute before Harith found the winner in the ninth minute of the extra time.
Australia, meanwhile, defeated 2018 finalists Myanmar in the other semifinal as Lachlan Brook and Kai Trewin scored to overturn an 18th-minute opener from Myanmar’s La Min Htwe.
Croatian coach Bojan Hodak had led Malaysia to the finals in 2017 and 2018. However, it will be his successor Brad Maloney, a former Australia international, who is hoping to help them win their second title in as many years with a win over his home nation.
(Photo courtesy: FA Malaysia)