Malaysia got their bid for a third consecutive Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medal off to a winning start after beating Brunei 2-0 on Tuesday.
Harimau Muda, who were not in action in Sunday’s opening round of Group A matches, opened the scoring at the Zayyarthiri Stadium a minute after the half-hour mark when Rozaimi Abdul Rahman raced onto Irfan Fazail’s visionary through-pass and clinically sent a left-footed shot into the bottom corner.
Although they constantly found themselves on the back foot, Brunei had an excellent chance to equalise just before the break after a poor pass from opposition goalkeeper Izham Tarmizi led to a clear opening for Azwan Ali, but K. Reuben showed great awareness to race across and deflect the DPMM FC man’s snapshot.
But Malaysia continued to remain in control of proceedings and the three points were eventually wrapped up in the 71st minute when Ashri Chuchu, receiving possession on the edge of the box after patient build-up, sent a blistering drive past Ak Omar Aqammaddin.
In Tuesday’s late kickoff, Singapore bounced back from their 1-1 draw with Laos as they claimed a hard-fought 1-0 win over Vietnam.
The only goal of the game came on the stroke of halftime after Vietnam failed to deal with a Zulfahmi Arifin corner, allowing Sahil Suhaimi to fire in a shot that was deflected by Pham Manh Hung past his own goalkeeper.
However, the Cubs came under severe pressure after the break, especially in the final ten minutes of the game, but defenders Safuwan Baharudin and Afiq Yunos stood tall to help them claim their first win of the tournament.
Tuesday’s 2013 SEA Games Group A Results
Brunei 0-2 Malaysia
Vietnam 0-1 Singapore