KUALA LUMPUR: Harimau Malaya confirmed their place in the semi-finals of the AFF Cup after defeating Singapore 4-1 in the last action of Group B at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium just now.
Harimau Malaya manager, Kim Pan Gon fulfilled his promise to the football fans of the country that the national squad will party in the meeting that took place in front of 64,147 spectators.
Malaysia’s opening goal was scored through striker, Darren Lok who headed the ball neatly from the captain, Safawi Rasid’s cross in the 35th minute.
Malaysia continued to perform brilliantly once the game resumed in the second period when Stuart John Wilkins made it 2-0 in the 50th minute with a shot from outside the penalty box.
The England-born midfielder once again added to the heartache of the Lions squad when he put Harimau Malaya comfortably in front with the third goal four minutes later.
The visiting team managed to reduce the goal gap to 3-1, when the striker wearing the No. 10, Faris Ramli scored Singapore’s only goal in the 85th minute.
However, the Singa squad’s efforts to add more goals were not achieved after the national naturalized player, Sergio Aguero, who was brought in in the second half, blocked Harimau Malaya’s fourth goal in the 88th minute.
Pan Gon’s men carried a mandatory mission to win over the Lions team who traveled to Bukit Jalil only to record a draw.
As expected, Singapore led by coach from Japan, Takayuki Nishigaya displayed a defensive game and spent more time in their fortress.
The team across the embankment only needs one point to take home after they are in second place in Group B with seven points, while third-placed Malaysia with six points desperately needs a win to qualify for the semi-finals.
In the action against Singapore, the Harimau Malaya manager from South Korea only made two changes when he brought in Safawi and Quentin Cheng who returned to the starting line-up.
Safawi replaces Lee Tuck who played against Vietnam, while Quentin fills the void left by right back Azam Azmi who was suspended due to a red card.
After the final whistle, Malaysia finished as runners-up after collecting 9 points from four matches, while Vietnam topped Group B with 10 points.
Meanwhile, in another Group B action, Vietnam advanced as group champions after defeating Myanmar 3-0.
In the first semi-final action this Saturday at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Harimau Malaya will receive a visit from Thailand, who emerged as the champions of Group A. – ONLINE MESSENGER
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