AFF Suzuki Cup 2018: Malaysia up and running with Cambodia win

2018 AFF Suzuki Cup: BEST XI

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Malaysia got off to a winning start at the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 after beating Cambodia 1-0 at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh on Thursday evening.

Veteran striker Norshahrul Idlan Talaha emerged as the hero for Harimau Malaya as he headed home the only goal of the game in the 30th minute, to ensure his side got picked up three points in their opening Group A game.

Nonetheless, it could have been a more comprehensive result for the Malaysians as they spurned a number of good opportunities, especially in the opening 45 after making a strong start to the match.

It was Cambodia who created the first opening after just two minutes when Reung Bunheing was picked out unmarked inside the area, but lost his footing at the crucial moment and could only send a tame shot rolling into the gloves of Khairul Fahmi.

Malaysia did force their way into the contest with Norshahrul wasting a couple of decent opportunities, before Safawi Rasid beat opposition keeper Um Vichet with a clever effort but was denied by the bar.

Nonetheless, there was no denying the visitors on the half-hour mark following a clinical break forward, which culminated in Zaquan Adha hanging a ball up for Norshahrul to meet with a deft header into the back of the net.

Celebration time for Malaysia.

Cambodia did try their best to find a way back into the contest in the second half but just lacked a cutting edge in the final third, as Harimau Malaya were able to hold out to ensure they got their Suzuki Cup campaign off to a perfect start.

CAMBODIA: Um Vichet, Sareth Krya, Hong Pheng, Soeuy Visal, Cheng Meng (Sath Rosib 73’), Kouch Sokumpheak, Sos Suhana (Kouch Dani 75’), Brak Thiva, Reung Bunheing, Keo Sokpheng (Thierry Chantha Bin 46’), Chan Vathanaka.

MALAYSIA: Khairul Fahmi, Syahmi Safari, Aidil Zafuan, Shahrul Saad, Syazwan Andik, Mohamadou Sumareh, Akram Mahinan (Irfan Zakaria 86’), Syamer Kutty Abba, Safawi Rasid, Zaquan Adha (Ahmad Hazwan Bakri 71’), Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Shahrel Fikri Fauzi 63’).