Malaysia U19 national team advanced to the semi-finals after defeating Timor-Leste U19 national team 4-3 in the AFF U19 Championship 2022 group stage Group B at Madya Stadium, Jakarta.
The progress to the next round comes just in time as Hassan Sazali Waras’ squad is currently being heavily criticized by local football fans due to the loose action shown in the first two matches against Cambodia and Singapore.
The victory, however, did not come easily after Timor Leste bounced back three times to close the goal deficit through a quick counter -attack launched.
In fact, the country’s young squad had to play with a lack of one player in the last 20 minutes following a red card to the team captain, Ahmad Aysar Hadi Mohd Shapri.
Muhammad Najmuddin Akmal Kamal Akmal who was not sent off in the match against Singapore during the day cheered the national camp by opening the scoring as early as the ninth minute.
Due to Muhammad Aliff Izwan Yuslan’s free kick which failed to be caught neatly by the Timor Leste goalkeeper, Filonito Nogueira was quickly grabbed by Najmuddin to put the national squad in front.
However, the excitement only lasted for two minutes when Timor Leste equalized through Cristevao Monis Fernandes from outside the penalty area after he received a cutback from Luis Figo.
The position continued to change four minutes later after Adam Farhan Mohd Faizal who cleverly read a beautiful pass from Aliff Izwan in the penalty area returned to give an advantage to the national squad.
Malaysia extended their lead in the 52nd minute after a beautiful pass from Ahmad Aysar Hadi continued to look for Aliff Izwan who passed the control of two Timor Leste defenders and made a stomach attempt to beat Filonito.
The situation was repeated in the second half when Timor Leste needed just three minutes to close the goal gap through the calm of finisher Mario Donasio Quintao in the penalty area to make the score 3-2.
Entering the 62nd minute, Adam Farhan managed to blast his second personal goal with a low shot in the penalty area after he received a long pass from his teammate.
When the national squad played with 10 players, Timor Leste used the advantage by doubling the pressure and their efforts paid off in the 76th minute with a goal during a corner kick situation perfected by Revalino Do Martins.
The constant pressure was manifested by Timor Leste after that was well absorbed by the national players to confirm a valuable victory which at once brought the national squad to the semi -finals.
Credit Photo : FAM