Captain Safiq Rahim gave Harimau Malaya the lead after 15 minutes of play through a free kick. Unfortunately, Laos’ Khonesavanh Sihavong equalised six minutes before the break.
The Malaysian side certainly played with more aggression, purpose and urgency after going down tamely to Singapore in its first group match.
National coach Datuk K. Rajagopal had promised changes in the lineup, and true enough, he made four alterations to the team – fKhairul Fahmi Che Mat was replaced in goal by Farizal Marlias and Mahalli Jasuli, Shakir Shaari and Wan Zack Haikal came in for Bunyamin Umar, Amar Rohidan and Khyril.
There were numerous opportunities to score but the Malaysian side failed to finish.
Malaysia’s top striker (and leading scorer two year’s ago) Safee Sali finally ended his goal drought with strike in the 67th minute.
Wan Zack Haikal and substitute Khyril Muhymeen Zambri netted the final two to seal the visitor’s fate.
With 3 points from two games, Malaysia now trails Indonesia (4 points) and Singapore (3 points) in Group B. Malaysia needs a win against Indonesia to book a berth in the playoffs.
Malaysia will meet Indonesia this Saturday, 1 December 2012 @ 8.45pm, Bukit Jalil Stadium.
This will be an intense, exciting match between two giants of South East Asia. Go, Hitam Kuning!