Malaysia made a roaring start in the 4th Yamaha Asean Cup Under-13 tournament with debutants Malaysia Blue giving former champions Vietnam a hiding with a 3-0 win in Group A, while Malaysia Yellow stopped defending champions Thailand with a 2-1 win in Group B at the Petaling Jaya Stadium, Kelana Jaya today.
It was a well deserved win for the Malaysian Blues, although the team was subdued in the first half with Vietnam, the 2008 champions, looking the more threatening team.
The Malaysian Blues came out much stronger after the break and the tide turned in their favour when they were awarded a penalty in the 45th minute. Aqil Danish Azman made no mistake from the spot when he sent Vietnam keeper Vu Huu Minh diving the wrong way.
That goal allowed the Malaysian Blues to stamp their authority on the game and they doubled their lead when Haiqal Iskandar tapped in a cross from the left by Aqil in the 60th minute. Substitute Aiman Ariff completed the rout with a solo attempt deep into injury time.
In the second match of the day, Malaysia Yellow edged defending champions Thailand to a 2-1 in a Group B match. Malaysia Yellow grabbed the lead in as early as the eighth minute through Nazirul Hasif Mailang whose volley into the left corner from inside the box beat Thai goalkeeper Patcharaphon Kaewkham.
But the Thai's drew level through Yuthapichai Lertlum in the 40th minute, who took advantage of a defensive lapse in the Malaysian backline. However, Malaysia Yellow were not to be denied a morale boosting win which they achieved thanks to a brilliant effort by Nurfais Johari, who hit a stinging low shot on the run that gave Partcharaphon no chance at all.