24 March 2019, Sunday | 09:41am

Malaysia came back twice to deny Indonesia in the AFF U22

2019-02-21

Hadi Fayyadh turned hero as his late goal gives Malaysia a fighting chance to reach the knockout stage of the AFF U22 Championship.

It was not the final result that Malaysia would have wanted but obvious improvements were shown compared to the lacklustre display shown in the opening match against Cambodia, as Ong Kim Swee's boys remains in the hunt for a place in the semi-final of the under-age tournament in Cambodia.

To advance to the knockout stage of the competition will depend on what happen in the second game tonight when Cambodia take on Myanmar but it is already looking like Malaysia will have get nothing short of three points against Myanmar to even stand a chance of going through.

With the injury to R. Kogileswaran and suspension to Danial Haqim, Kim Swee introduced Nik Akif Syahiran back into the fold and the Kelantan player looked head and shoulders better than those around him on the pitch. His free kick goal in the 61st minute was sumptuous but squeezed in between two Indonesian goals.

Marinus Wanewar - Timnas Indonesia U-22

Marianus Manewar was slipped into space in the 52nd minute and saw his initial shot hit Haziq Nadzli but the former reacted quickest to the rebound to send Indonesia to a 1-0 lead. Even after Malaysia drew level, Indonesia kept pushing forward and substitute Witan Sulaeman put his team into the lead for the second time in the match with a magnificent long range strike that gave Haziq no chance in the 77th minute.

However that was not the end of the goals as Malaysia roared back into contention for the second time. Nik Akif was involved once again but this time as the provider as his corner kick in the 85th minute was met at the near post by Hadi Fayyadh and the Fangiano Okayama player glanced the ball past Satria Hardiyanto in Indonesia's goal to make it 2-2.

The score remained until the final whistle as Malaysia gained their first point in the competition while Indonesia played out their second successive draw in the tournament. Malaysia will play Myanmar on Feb 22 to decide if they can reach the final four.

GOAL.COM

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