Malaysia see off Myanmar in seven-goal thriller to win AFF U-19

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Malaysia won the AFF U-19 Championship for the first time after beating Myanmar 4-3 in a thrilling final at the Gelora Delta Stadium on Saturday.

It took the Young Tigers just three minutes to break the deadlock when a determined run down the left by Awang Muhammad Faiz saw him ride a couple of challenges, before reaching the edge of the box and curling away a shot that Zin Nyi Nyi Aung got a hand to but failed to keep out.

Then, in the 19th minute, they doubled their lead after Nik Akif Syahiran swept a first-time finish into the bottom corner after finding space with a clever late run into the box.

Myanmar pulled one back five minutes later when Win Naing Tun capitalised on some indecisive defending to race through and coolly slot past the onrushing Azri Ghani.

And, in the 27th minute, Myanmar equalised after Myat Kaung Khant was left unmarked inside the area to latch onto an inch-perfect cross and finish into the back of the net.

Remarkably, they then took the lead a minute after the half-hour mark courtesy of Myat Kaung Khant’s second of the evening; sending a corner kick directly into goal after a fumble by Azri.

It was then Malaysia’s turn to equalise in the 76th minute after Myanmar failed to clear their lines at a corner, and Shivan Pillay Asokan was the beneficiary as he reacted quickest to the loose ball to bundle home from close range.

Just when it looked like penalties were on the cards, the tie was decided in dramatic fashion in the third minute of injury-time – Nik Akif lining up a freekick on the left and curling a fine effort in at hear post.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, hosts Indonesia secured third place as they beat Thailand 2-1 courtesy of goals by Feby Eka Putra and Syahiran Abimanyu, while last year’s champions grabbed a late consolation via a Matee Sarakum strike.

Photo credit: Football Association of Malaysia