MANILA: Malaysia recorded their first win in the Sea Games by overcoming Timor Leste 4-0 in Monday’s Group A match to keep their semi-final hopes alive in the tournament.
While many expected the Malaysians to dominate the minnows, it was Timor Leste who created more chances but lacked the finishing.
Malaysia must beat Cambodia in their final group match tomorrow and hope that the other result between Timor Leste and the Philippines would go their way to reach the last four.
Myanmar guaranteed their semi-final spot as group champions on 10 points when they defeated Cambodia 2-1.
Coach Ong Kim Swee opted for an attacking line up in search for goals and it took them only five minutes to take the lead when Timor Leste defender Filomena Costa lobbed the ball into his own net just inside his box.
Malaysia then pinned Timor Leste in their own half for long periods with Syahmi Safari, Hadi Fayyadh Razak and Faisal Abdul Halim all wasting good chances.
However, Hadi Fayyadh made his second chance count when he drove in the ball, off a Syahmi Safari square pass, past Timor Leste goalkeeper Fagio Pereira in the 35th minute.
Hadi Fayyadh then added the third goal when he scored off a rebound after Faisal’s initial grounder had hit the post in the 43rd minute.
After the breather, Akhyar Rashid came on for Faisal and contributed by converting R. Kogileswaran’s pass in the 81st minute.
Timor Leste were enterprising in long periods in the second half and could have scored a few goals but did not make their chances count.