Striker Faisal Halim struck early in the first half to give Malaysia a slim 1-0 win over Thailand in the first-leg, semifinal 2 of the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 that was played this evening at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium.
It was every bit as intense as had been expected with both teams now having their work out cut for them in the return tie in Bangkok as they look to book their place in the final of the meet this year.
“I have to thank the coach for giving me the opportunity to play. But it is not finished yet. There are still two days to the next game in Bangkok,” said Man-of-the-Match V. Ruventhiran from Malaysia.
The homesters could not have asked for a brighter start to their semifinals campaign at home in front of 62,000 fans than with the lead in the 11th minute of play.
A long cross in from Sharul Nazeem Zulpakar was picked up by Ruventhiran before he played it short to Faisal, who slotted the ball in between the legs of Thai keeper Kittipong Phuthawchueak for the lead.
Thailand regrouped and pushed hard for the equaliser but Teerasil Dangda and Bordin Phala saw their attempts go wide of the goal.
Captain Theerathon Bunmathan was in the thick of the action several times before the break with Peeradon Chamratsamee still unable to beat Malaysian custodian Ahmad Syihan Mohamad.
Malaysia then had a goal disallowed in the 55th minute for a foul as Thailand then continued much in the same vein as they had done in the first half.
However, the Malaysian defence stood firm for the return leg on Tuesday at the Thammasat Stadium.