BANGKOK, Dec 5 – Malaysia is in the final of the AFF Suzuki Cup!
Harimau Malaya, led by coach Tan Cheng Hoe, fought back to hold Thailand to a 2-2 draw in a pulsating affair at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok on Wednesday (Dec 5).
Malaysia were held 0-0 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Dec 1.
Malaysia’s goals were scored by Syahmi Safari and Norshahrul Idlan Talaha while Thailand’s goals were scored by an Irfan Zakaria own goal and Pansa Hemviboon.
Seven minutes later, Malaysia equalised through a Syahmi thunderbolt. The Selangor right-back, who received the ball from Syamer Kutty Abba from the middle, drove forward and took a thunderous shot which went past the hapless Chathchai Budprom in the 27th minute.
In the second half, Thailand upped the tempo and got their reward when Hemviboon headed past goalkeeper Farizal in the 63rd minute.
But seven minutes later, Malaysia equalised again through a brilliant finish from Norshahrul.
Thailand could have won the match after Syahmi gave away a penalty in the third minute of injury time, but Adisak Kraisorn skied his penalty.
That miss was a great relief for Malaysia and as they held on to the result to qualify for the final.
Malaysia will face either Vietnam or the Philippines in a two-legged final on Dec 11 and 15.
Malaysia last qualified for the final in 2014 but lost to Thailand via a 4-3 aggregate in a two-legged final.