ASC2018: Taking winning mentality to Cambodia

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Malaysia would not have asked for anything better than a 3-0 win over the Maldives in A international friendly at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday before throwing in their challenge for the AFF Suzuki Cup which begins on Thursday.
 
The impressive scoreline is undoubtedly a booster for Harimau Malaya before they fly off to Phnom Penh for their opening Group A match against Cambodia at the National Olympic Stadium this Thursday.
 
It was not smooth sailing for the Malaysians against the 151 ranked the Maldives who recently beat favorites India to win South Asia Football Federation (SAFF) Suzuki Cup in Bangladesh.
 
The highlight of Malaysia’s win over the Maldives was Gambian-born naturalized Malaysian Mohamadou Sumareh who scored his third international – netting Harimau Malaya’s third deep into injury time.
 
Skipper Zaquan Adha Abdul Radzak set the tone for Malaysia’s victory with the opening goal which came on 16 minutes when he first-timed an assist from the hardworking Norshahrul Idlan Talaha.
 
Safawi Rashid came off the bench in the second-half to execute an acrobatic shot that gave goalkeeper Hussain Shareef no chance at all from a corner kick taken by Norshahrul.
Sumareh then took over the show on a wet and slippery pitch when he outsmarted his marker before taking two steps to the left and hit a left-footer that left Hussain rooted. 
Despite the impressive scoreline, it was not all smooth sailing for the Malaysians who had their goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat to thank for making some splendid saves to keep his goal intact.
The introduction of Safawi ad Hazwan Bakri in the second-half added more aggression to the Malaysian strikeforce. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH
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