Finally, Malaysia Football team win something

Triple joy: Safee Sali celebrates after putting Malaysia 3-0 up against Myanmar at Shah Alam Stadium last night.

Football: Spirited Malaysia are the champions

SHAH ALAM: Malaysia are champions of the Merdeka Tournament again after a lapse of 14 years.

In an exciting final of the 39th edition of the tournament played in front of 40,000 fans at the Shah Alam Stadium last night, Malaysia defeated defending champions Myanmar 3-1. It was the 11th time that Malaysia won the title in the series.

Myanmar had no answer to a spirited Malaysia and conceded goals to Mohd Zaquan Adha and Safee Sali in the 12th and 60th minute respectively. And Aung Myo Thant put the ball into his own net in the 56th.

Substitute Tun Tun Win pulled a goal back for Myanmar in the 73rd minute. The match also saw Myanmar reduced to 10 men with the sacking of Kyaw Khing Win in the 87th minute.

The victory for the national Under-23 boys preparing for the Korat SEA Games in December was sweet revenge for the 1-2 defeat by Myanmar in the group stage.

Triple joy: Safee Sali celebrates after putting Malaysia 3-0 up against Myanmar at Shah Alam Stadium last night.Malaysia started without influential skipper Mohd Shukor Adan, who was down with a groin injury, leaving only one senior player in the side – centreback Norhafiz Zamani Misbah.

In contrast, Myanmar were at full strength with all three seniors in their ranks – skipper Soe Myat Min, striker Yan Paing and goalkeeper Aung Aung Oo.

Malaysia got off to a lively start and took the lead just 12 minutes into the match. Mohd Zaquan initiated the move, relaying the ball to Safee Sali. Zaquan then received the return ball inside the box to beat Aung Oo.

Malaysia went 2-0 up when defender Myo Thant turned a cross from Safee into his own goal in the 56th minute. The match was as good as in Malaysia's hands after Safee coolly turned past his marker to slot the ball into goal four minutes later.

Tun Win went on target in the 73rd minute and Myanmar caused some anxious moments for Malaysia until the final whistle.

Myanmar: Aung Aung Oo, Min Thu, Kyaw Khing Win, Moe Win, Khin Maung Lwin, Aung Myo Thant, Zaw Htet Aung (Tun Tun Win), Yan Paing, Soe Myat Min, Myo Min Tun, Zaw Lynn Tun.

Malaysia: Syed Adney Syed Hussin, Azi Shahril Azmi, Norhafiz Zamani Misbah, Mohd Aidil Zafuan, Mohd Zaquan Adha, Norfarhan Mohd (Amirulhadi Zainal), Mohd Khyril Muhymeen, Mohd Daudso Jamaluddin, Safee Sali, Sumardi Hajalan, Norsharul Idlan Talaha (Mohd Syamsol Sabtu).


walaupun hanya menonton dari rumah, semangat Malaysia masih lagi utuh. Persembahan yang ditunjukkan oleh player Malaysia U23 harus dipuji. Tetapi kita masih jauh lagi, Sukan SEA di Korat adalah pentas sebenar...

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