Home Sports Malaysia stun Turkmenistan in Asian Cup qualifying tie

Malaysia stun Turkmenistan in Asian Cup qualifying tie

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia beat higher-ranked Turkmenistan 3-1 in their first Group E match of the 2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil here, tonight.

The atmosphere was enlivened by more than 21,000 spectators who last saw the Harimau Malaya play at home in November 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

There was only one change in the national team’s starting line-up from the one that beat Hong Kong 2-0 in an international friendly last Wednesday, with Faisal Halim replacing Akhyar Rashid on the left wing.

Malaysia dominated the game from the start, which resulted in Safawi Rasid’s 11th-minute goal.

Arif Aiman’s cross from the left side was not properly dealt with by goalkeeper Mammet Orazmuhammedov, and an unmarked Safawi took advantage of the opportunity.

Kim Pan Gon’s side kept up the pressure, with striker Darren Lok coming close in the 15th minute, but winger Faisal Halim got past the defence before beating Orazmuhammedov one-on-one a minute later.

Trailing 2-0, Altymyrat Annadurdyyev’s 38th-minute goal gave Turkmenistan hope after the striker’s previous attempts were denied by goalkeeper Farizal Marlias.

Malaysia extended their lead just before the break with the third goal coming from defender Corbin Ong, who made a solo run before firing a shot past Orazmuhammedov.

Both sides had some great chances in the second half, but no goals were added before referee blew the final whistle.

Turkmenistan is currently ranked 134th in the world, while Malaysia is placed 154th.

Malaysia now leads Group E with three points, while Bahrain is second after a 2-0 victory over Bangladesh earlier today.



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