K. Rajagopal looked set for a morale boosting victory in Malaysia's penultimate AFF Suzuki Cup warm-up game, however a late Aidil Zafuan blunder cost his team dearly
Malaysia looked set to open the scoring in the 10th minute when Norsharul played a beautiful through ball to Safee Sali who then rounded the keeper, however he was flagged offside by the assistant. It didn’t take long for Sali to get another chance following more good work by Norsharul who got free down the right hand side, however Sali could only screw his scissor volley wide when found in space 10 yards out.
The away team created their first opportunity in the 19th minute when the ball came to Lee Wai Lim at the edge of the area, however his side footed effort was comfortably gathered by Khairul Fahmi. Malaysia had the next big opportunity in the 31st minute as Sali found space down the left hand side, despite having teammates in support he elected to shoot and his low effort was gathered comfortably by Yapp Hung Fai. The away team ended the half more strongly, first there was a big chance for Hong Kong’s midfielder Lee Hong Lim, who was found in space at the back post, but he could only disappointingly stab the ball wide with the goal at his mercy. Then Hong Kong looked certain to open the scoring in the second minute of stoppage time when forward Lee Wai Lim had a shot across the goal which was only parried by Fahmi, Lee Hong Lim looked sure to slot home the rebound but was foiled by a terrific last ditch tackle by Fadhi Shas keeps the scores level.
The home team picked up where they left off at the beginning of the second half, as they again looked second best to Hong Kong, not being able to dominate possession. However in the 58th minute Safee Sali headed home a beautiful cross by Amar Rohidan for Malaysia’s first goal in 238 minutes of football. Following this the home team looked much more comfortable, happy to keep possession and sit on their one goal lead. The match as a contest seemed over in the 80th when Lee Chi Ho received his second caution of the game, for dissent, after an incident with Sali. However just as it seemed as if Malaysia would record a morale boosting victory disaster struck in the 88th minute when a horrible short back pass from Aidil Zafuan was pounced upon by Lam Hok Hei who nipped in front of a helpless Fahmi to slot home.
A minute later Malaysia had two chances to equalise but both Norsharul and substitute Mahali Jasuli failed to make proper contact with chances inside the area. In the 91st minute Hong Kong almost snatched an undeserved winner when James McKee got free down the right and cut the ball back for Lam Hok Hei, but he was unable to get a firm head on the ball from six yards out.