AFF Cup: Malaysia suffers 2-0 defeat to Thailand

AFF Cup: Malaysia suffers 2-0 defeat to Thailand

The match kicked off at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, with both teams setting a fast and furious pace, moving into attacking mode, right from the start.

Malaysia had the first look at goal as early as the 3rd minute when striker Amri Yahya was presented with a free header from a Safiq Rahim cross but his header was gathered safely by Thailand goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan.

Three minutes later Norshahrul Idlan Talaha was presented with a golden opportunity but his hurried half volley was again saved by Kawin.

After absorbing the early pressure, Thailand slowly started dominating the attack with Mongkol Thosakrai testing Malaysian goalkeeper Mohd Farizal Marlias with a stinging shot but Farizal was equal to the task.

The Malaysian goal was once again in danger when the unmarked Kroekrit Thawikan sneaked in to unleash a powerful strike but it was off target and three minutes before the break, Adisak Kraisorn probably had thousands of Thai fans roaring he broke free from the Malaysian defenders and headed for goal but his shot whizzed past the goal post.

Both teams tried hard to score but the outcome remained unchanged (0-0) when the half time whistle was blown.

The start of the second half saw the home team stamp their superiority by launching a wave of attack on the Malaysian goal, testing Mohd Farizal to the limit.

While the players from Thailand were growing in confidence, the Malaysian players were finding it more and more difficult to break into the final half of the Thai defence.

Malaysia had to wait until the 62nd minute to have a decent shot at goal in the second half when Norshahrul's attempt hit a defender while another Amri Yahya's shot was saved by Kawin.

But while the Malaysian strikers were missing their target, Thailand got closer and closer to rattling Mohd Farizal in goal despite the latter making a timely save from Adisak in the 67th minute.

However, his gallant saves were in vain when Thailand were awarded a penalty in the 72nd minute as Adisak was fouled inside the box and Charylyannic made no mistake with the spot kick although Mohd Farizal guessed the right way.

The goal put Malaysia in disarray and were merely chasing shadows for most part of the match and in their eagerness to score, left gaps in defence which was well exploited by the Thais.

In the 85th minute, Thailand launched a quick counter-attack when Malaysia lost the ball in transit at the halfway mark and Kroekrit combined well with Chanathip to bury the ball past Mohd Farizal.

Malaysia had one last chance to reduce the deficit when striker Indra Putra Mahayuddin found himself in a good position but his strike was off target.~ Awani


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