NOBODY thought Malaysia would get beaten by Cambodia.
But the unexpected happened when the Angkor Warriors overcame the Young Tigers 3-1 in a Group A match at Rizal Memorial Stadium today.
With the humiliating defeat, Malaysia are out of the Sea Games semi-finals, finishing fourth with only four points in the group.
It will go down as Malaysia’s most embarrassing outing in the history of the Sea Games.
Malaysia not only lost to Cambodia but were also embarrassed 1-0 by the Philippines last weekend.
Cambodia advanced to the last four for the first time along with group champions Myanmar.
Malaysia had several good chances in the first half but their forwards failed to capitalise on them.
In the ninth minute, Syahmi Safari’s cross was driven wide from close range by midfielder Danial Haqim Draman while in the 17th minute, Nik Akif Syahiran Nik Mat directed his free-kick over the crossbar.
Seven minutes before half-time, Hadi Fayyadh Razak headed Syahmi’s cross wide in front of the Cambodian goal mouth.
Cambodia also had their moments to take the lead.
Their best chance arrived in the 11th minute but Malaysian goalkeeper Haziq Nadzli denied them with back-to-back saves.
Two minutes after the breather, Luqman Hakim Shamsuddin had only Cambodia goalkeeper Keo Soksela to beat after the 17-year-old had picked up Hadi Fayyadh’s pass.
However, Luqman lobbed the ball over the crossbar.
But things got difficult when Cambodia scored two quick goals.
In the 56th minute, In Sodavid scored with a grounder following keeper Haziq’s poor clearance from a Cambodian corner kick.
A minute later, 16-year-old Sieng Chanthea collected a long pass and raced into the Malaysian penalty box before outwitting defender Dominic Tan and lifting a shot beyond Haziq and other players, and into the roof of the net.
And Cambodia embarrassed the Malaysians with a third goal by Keo Sokpheng in the 68th minute.
Malaysia was disoriented after that and could not conjure up opportunities.
However, Malaysia managed to regroup and reduced the deficit through substitute Quentin Cheng in the 89th minute.
While the Cambodian players celebrated after the final whistle, the Malaysians kept their heads down as they walked into the dressing room. NST
A brilliant second-half display gave Cambodia a 3-1 win over Malaysia at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday and also a place in the semifinals of men’s football in SEA Games 2019.
With hosts Philippines expected to win against minnows Timor-Leste in the other Group A game, both Cambodia and Malaysia had to win in order to progress to the knockout stages of the Southeast Asian Games.
And that made for a rollercoaster day of football in Group A. It looked like Cambodia and Malaysia were headed out at one stage as there was nothing to separate the two sides for a good portion of the match while Philippines raced to an easy win over East Timor.
But, with Cambodia launching into a 3-0 lead, Azkals had their hopes diminished before they shipped in half a dozen goals against the Timorese to stand a chance to progress thanks to a better goal difference. But in the end, it was the Cambodians who made it through by the narrowest of margins.