Youthful Vietnam embarrass Malaysia in Under-23 Asean Championship

KUALA LUMPUR: Vietnam, comprising six under-18 and 10 under-20 players, schooled Malaysia 4-1 in the semi-finals of the Under-23 Asean Championship in Rayong, Thailand, on Thursday.

Malaysia played like headless chickens in the first half as Vietnam raced to a 3-0 lead through goals by Dinh Xuan Tien (eighth and 44th minutes) and Nguyen Quoc Viet (32nd) at the Rayong Provincial Stadium.

Malaysia reduced the deficit through Alif Ikmalrizal Anuar in the 49th minute before Nguyen Hong Phuc scored Vietnam's fourth in the 85th minute.

E. Elavarasan's side, who are without several regulars, made individual mistakes, especially in the first half, and allowed Vietnam to dictate the game.

However, Malaysia did better in the second half after making several substitutions.

"We were not effective in the first half. We made too many mistakes in defence, and Vietnam took their chances and scored three goals," said Elavarasan after the match.

"We made some changes as I was expecting the fresh players to perform better in the opening 45 minutes. I brought in a few players in the second half, but it was too late."

Malaysia will take on Thailand or Indonesia in the third-place playoff on Saturday.

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