PALEMBANG (3 May 2018) – Vietnam and Malaysia picked up their first win in Group A of the AFF Under-16 Girls’ Championship after two rounds of matches.
Vietnam, who were drawn scoreless by Myanmar in their first game, blasted Singapore 4-0 at the Athletic Jaka Baring 1.
Across town at the Bumi Sriwijaya Stadium, Malaysia – held to a 3-3 draw by Singapore two days earlier – played a tighter game to beat last year’s finalists Philippines 2-0.
“It was a very balanced game,” said Malaysian head coach Justin Ganai afterwards. “The girls played well and the difference today was that we just took our chances well.”
The Malaysians, who were eager to shore up their defence after the slump against Singapore, pushed hard at the start and it did not take them long to carve out the lead.
Just ten minutes in, Nur Qiasatina Nizam fired in from some 20metres which caught Philippines keeper Isabelle off guard and as she scrambled for the save, Ain Nur Qaseh Azman came in to slot the ball home.
Just three minutes later, Malaysia doubled their advantage when Ain Nur picked up the pass from Nur Mecca Hazri to score.
The Philippines tried hard to get into the game and where they finished the first half with a cracker from Maria Gloria Lazo that failed to beat Malaysian custodian Nuralyaa Natasha Zukefli.
The second half saw both teams pushing in numbers but the Philippines improved their defensive line to prevent Malaysia from adding to the scoreline.
For the Malaysians, they were not going to let it slip like they did against Singapore as the first three points gave them a booster ahead of their next match against Myanmar next.
“It was an unfortunate loss where the two early goals shook the team,” said Philippines head coach Marielle Benitez. “We managed to keep possession but our finishing was lacking.”