The Golden Stars avenge their 2010 Suzuki Cup defeat over Malaysia, with the home side conceding two soft goals in either half
The game started off at turtles pace early on, but Vietnam showed their attacking intent in the 13th minute when Huynh Quoc Anh headed wide with the goal gaping at his mercy. The boys in red continued to keet the Malaysians on the back foot as midfielder Le Tan Tai saw his shot deflected just wide.
Malaysia somehow came off unscathed from the early scare and Nohshahrul fashioned the home side’s first chance, but his cheeky dink just cleared the bar after a good cutback from Bunyamin Umar.
But Malaysia soon lost their grip in midfield and went to sleep once again, and this time Vietnam capitalized with deadly effect. The Harimau Malaya defence stood watching as Lee Tan Tai ran unchallenged to cross for an unmarked Le Ching Vinh to head the Golden Stars in front on the half hour mark.
The Vietnam striker almost scored again moments later, but his lob was cleared off the line by the backpedalling Faizal Muhammad.
Coach K. Rajagopal brought on Azamuddin Akil to replace the ineffective Wan Zack Haikal to offer some strength for the increasingly frustrated home side.
Just before half-time, Malaysia had a great chance to equalize but Aidil Zafuan’s indirect free-kick was a poor one, crashing off the Vietnamese wall.
15,000 home fans expected Rajagopal’s men to come back with renewed vigor in the second half, but instead it was the visitors who extended their lead through another soft goal just three minutes after the restart; Farizal Marlias was left flat footed as Phan Thanh Hung‘s shot looped over him into the net.
Stung by another goal, Rajagopal immediately made a triple substitution, bringing on S. Kunalan, Safee Sali and Badrol Bahtiar to bring some venom into Malaysia’s attacking. The change made an impact as Kunalan began to stamp his authority on the game with some penetrating runs down the left flank, and was unlucky to see his shot go just wide off a tight angle.
That was the final chance of the game as Vietnam comfortably held the Malaysians off for a deserved win and shattered the Tigers 11-match unbeaten home record, stretching back to 2009.