Malaysia shown exit after defeat to hosts Myanmar

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia put up a pathetic show and were rightfully shown the exit from the AFF Suzuki Cup after losing 1-0 to hosts Myanmar in their final Group B match on Saturday.

Winger David Htan scored the winner in the 89th minute at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon to give Myanmar a second-place finish in the group with six points. They join unbeaten Vietnam in the semi-finals.

Needing a win to reach the last four, Harimau Malaysia never got going and dished out their worst performance to earn the ignominy of failing to get past the group stage for the third time.

They also failed to do so in 1998 and 2008.

Malaysia coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee made two changes to the line-up after they were edged 1-0 by Vietnam on Wednesday.

Leftback Nazirul Naim Che Hashim came in for Matthew Davies and seasoned striker Norshahrul Idlan Talaha replaced Darren Lok in an 4-4-2 formation.

But 2010 champions Malaysia, whose only win was a 3-2 success over lowly Cambodia in their opening match, failed to show any urgency and were chasing shadows against a young and exuberant Myanmar side.

Malaysia only had two shots on target - the most prominent being striker Ahmad Hazwan Bakri's curling shot, which hit the upright in the sixth minute.

Myanmar were unlucky not to grab the lead after Hazwan gave away a penalty for scything down striker Aung Thu in the 11th minute. Khairul Fahmi Che Mat saved Malaysia by fielding Aung Thu's weak attempt.

Coached by German Gerd Zeise, Myanmar were always dangerous in attack. And it came as no surprise when David secured the late winner. After receiving the ball on the edge of the Malaysian box, he cut in and unleashed a low shot past Khairul into the corner of the net.

In Saturday's other match, Vietnam edged winless Cambodia 2-1 for their third win in a row at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium in Nyapyidaw.