AFF Suzuki Cup wrap: Malaysia back on track
Malaysia kept their AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final hopes alive with a 4-1 win over Laos on Wednesday, while Indonesia also won.
A 3-0 loss in their first match against Singapore had left tournament co-hosts Malaysia bottom of Group B, but coach K Rajagopal's side turned their campaign around with a dominant display.
It took a set-piece to break the deadlock, Malaysia captain Safiq Rahim curling in a free kick in the 15th minute to capitalise on the hosts' early dominance.
The goal led to some complacency, however, which Laos took full advantage of when Khonesavanh Sihavong's strike was deflected in for the equaliser.
It took Malaysia until well into the second half to retake the lead, striker Safee Sali finding the target in the 67th minute after being teed up by Wan Zack Haikal.
Wan Zack got his name on the scoresheet nine minutes later, heading home at the back post to extend Malaysia's lead.
And Khyril Muhymeen Zambri completed the win with 10 minutes to go, a turnover in defence allowing him to break away and score Malaysia's fourth.
In the group's other match, Indonesia continued their impressive start to the tournament with a 1-0 victory over Singapore.
Chances were scarce at the Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil until Singapore defender Irwan Shah was sent off for his second bookable offence with 25 minutes remaining.
The hosts capitalised on the extra man advantage, breaking the deadlock in the 88th minute through substitute Andik Vermansyah.
The result sees Indonesia climb to the top of Group B with four points, while Singapore and Malaysia are one point back, with Laos bottom.