A late finish from striker Lachlan Brook gave Australia their fifth crown of the AFF Under-18 Next Media Cup 2019 as they denied Malaysia with a 1-0 win in the final that was played at the Thong Nhat Stadium.
The win over the Malaysians was sweet revenge following the 3-0 defeat Australia suffered in the group stage. The Australians had won the title in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2016.
“We lost to Malaysia in the group stage, so we were not about to suffer again in the final. The win will be good for our continued development towards the AFC qualifiers,” said Brook after the match.
With Australia being the early aggressors, the Malaysians had little choice but to sit back and defend their fort as hard as they could.
Dylan Ruiz-Diaz, Brook and also Marco Tilio all had their chances but they just could not make them count as the Malaysians made some close escape.
With Malaysia unable to make it count with a freekick from Muhd Muslihuddin Mat Zahid before they break, they then came out stronger into the second half with some good break off Luqman Hakim Shamsuddin as Muhammad Firdaus Kaironnisam then rocked the Australian crossbar sometime later.
And while Lachlan might have hit the side netting on 74th minute, there was no mistake just five minutes later when he put in the winner beyond the reach of substitute keeper Firdaus Iman Mohd Fadhil, who had replaced Sikh Izhan Sikh Azman just several minutes earlier.
Malaysia tried hard to get the equalizer but it was just not forthcoming as their last best effort came in the 90th minute with a freekick from captain Muhammad Mukhairi Mahadi that did little to trouble Australian keeper Kai Calderbank-Park.
RESULTS – 19 August 2019
Malaysia 0 Australia 1
THIRD / FOURTH PLACING
Indonesia 5 Myanmar 0