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AFC U19 Championship

Malaysia beat Thailand to earn direct spot in AFC U19 Championship finals

11:55 GMT+3 11/11/2019
Malaysia U18 v Thailand U18, AFC U19 Championship qualifier, 10 Nov 2019
Malaysia U18 made it four wins from four matches as they knocked Thailand out of the AFC U19 Championship reckoning.

A soiltary goal from Umar Hakeem in the second half gave Malaysia a 1-0 win in the final Group G of the AFC U19 Championship qualifiers which meant that Brad Maloney's boys qualified directly as group winners to the finals in Uzbekistan next year.

Despite needing only a draw to keep their top spot in the group, Malaysia did one better and inflicted a sort of revenge on the Thais who beat them in the group stage of the AFF U19 Championship in August. The result also meant that Thailand will not be part of the finals as Cambodia emerged as group runner-up and will wait to see if they are among the best four second placed teams.

"The tournament has been great with very difficult games and difficult circumstances at times. Thailand today had to go for the win but we stuck to our principles and managed to get a positive result for ourselves. We kept to our style of play, didn't just sit back to play for the draw.

"We continued the way we played the whole tournament and the boys have been rewarded for that.Today the boys proved themselves to be quality players and if they continue like that, Malaysian football has a bright future and will be in good hands, " said Maloney in the post-match press conference.

It was a good day all around Southeast Asia as Laos, Vietnam and Indonesia also confirmed their places in the finals. Other qualified teams are Qatar, Tajikistan, Iran, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Australia, South Korea, Japan and Yemen. 

After a good tournament where the team scored 27 goals, conceded four goals and kept three clean sheets - it's clear to see that Maloney has done a really good job with the squad in a short period of time. 

 

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