Malaysia U19 beat Thailand U19 thanks to a late strike from Umar Hakeem in their Group G AFC U19 Championship Qualifiers match, which takes the Malaysians through to the AFC U19 Championship to be held in Uzbekistan next year.
Thailand needed to win and hope that other results go their way, but it was Malaysia who looked the most likely to score, and though chances were at a premium in the first half, the signs were ominous.
Despite some strong defending, Malaysia were pegged back once when Channarong Promsrikaew went through on goal for Thailand, but his shot angled just wide of the post.
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That seemed to wake Malaysia up, and they increased their pressure on goal, with the breakthrough coming in the 84th minute of the match.
A cross played in from the right hand side might have been dealt with by the Thai defence, but Umar Hakeem, who looked lively throughout, threw himself forward and got to the ball before the defender, eventually flicking the ball into the back of the net.
Malaysia had a late chance to settle the contest once and for all, but in the end Thailand were unable to muster enough in front of goal despite Suphanat Mueanta playing the full 90 minutes.
The result takes Malaysia through to the AFC U19 Championship as group winners, but Thailand can still qualify as one of the four best second-placed teams.
(Image courtesy: Football Association of Malaysia)