Malaysia kept their winning momentum ahead of the Asean Football Federation (2022 AFF Cup) competition with a 3-0 claiming victory against the Maldives in an International Tier 1 friendly last night (December 14) at Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras.
The players set the right pace from the beginning and created an excellent chance in the 11th minute, but Darren Lok’s praiseworthy effort from a Brendan Gan pass was prevented by the stretching legs of Hussain Shareef, the Maldives goalkeeper.
The missed opportunity did not damper the home team’s spirit. The attacking prowess continued until Darren made amends in the 24th minute by quickly scoring off a ball from skipper Muhammad Safawi Rasid.
The home team got off to a better start in the second half, with Muhammad Faisal Abdul Halim scoring in the 64th minute to give the 6,000-plus crowd something to cheer about.
After Muhammad Faisal’s goal, other players were seen to be all over the Maldives. Still, they lacked the finishing touches, particularly in the 68th minute when Faisal’s attempt missed the goal, and another attempt three minutes later was on target but blocked by the goalkeeper.
The naturalised player Lee Tuck for Muhammad Safawi showed a swift impact when his impressive header rocked the crossbar in the 85th minute. Three minutes later, he ascertained his attempt counted after finishing a pass from Muhammad Azam Azmi Murad.
Malaysia will open their AFF Cup campaign in Group B on 21st December against Myanmar in Yangon, followed by the second match against Laos at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on 24th December.
The team will face Vietnam in Hanoi on 27th December and Singapore in Bukit Jalil on 3rd January 2023.