Malaysia’s Saiful Nizam Mohd Ali sneaked in the winner two minutes from time to deliver a stunning 6-5 win over Vietnam in the AFF Futsal Championship third-fourth playoff at the Bangkok Arena today.
Malaysia had trailed the Vietnamese right from the start and were trailing 5-4 when they hammered in the equaliser in the 16th minute.
With time running out and the game tied at 5-5, Malaysia were awarded a free kick which Saiful Nizam Mohd Ali smashed down the centre to complete a sensational hattrick tonight.
It was a stunning result after an equally thrilling performance by both sides. Vietnam controlled much of the game and took the lead and could have wrapped up the game had they made better use of their chances. Malaysia on the other hand replied on breakaways but converted the attempts they had.
The first half was non-stop action-packed battle. With nothing to lose, the two teams went for the jugular and took every chance they had. The result was a free-flowing fast playoff that had the fans on the edge of their seats. The fans had turned up early to book their seats for the final and so Malaysia and Vietnam had the chance to play in front of a solid crowd of some 10,000 people.
Vietnam was in control for most of the match and launched numerous offensives but in the fourth minute, they struck goal. Vu Xuan Du broke down the left and crossed to Duong Anh Tung who easily placed in the opening goal of the playoff. Xuan Du doubled the score as he scrambled the ball in in the tenth minute.
While Vietnam were in charge, the Malaysians waited for chances to break away and try and take a crack at goal. Their efforts paid off the 12th minute when Mohd Khairul Effendy Mohd Bahrin raced in and blasted his team’s first goal.
Vietnam added a third in the 14th minute as Danh Phat raced down the left and drove his grounder surprisingly past the keeper and into the far corner.
Malaysia reduced the gap in the 15th minute after a brilliant run from Muhamad Fitri Muhamad Yatim ended with a sizzler past the Vietnam keeper. With time running out, the Malaysians were awarded a freekick when Pham Duc Hoa brought down Muhammad Shamsul Akmar Zamri. Nizam stepped up and rammed the shot into the top corner to put the score at 3-3.
Soon after the break, Vietnam regained the lead with Le Quoc Nam scoring in the third minute. Vietnam stretched the lead to 5-3 in the 30thminute through Ngo Ngoc Son.
To the surprise of all including the fans who had packed stadium, Malaysia charged back to reel in three goals. Saiful Nizam struck in the 32nd minute with Fawzul volleying in the equaliser in the 34th minute from a corner kick from Yazadih. With a minute to go, Saiful Nizam crashed in the winner.
3rd-4th Playoff: Malaysia bt Vietnam 6-5
FINAL: Thailand vs Australia (1700hrs)