PETALING JAYA: Malaysia and Thailand have set up a mouth-watering final in the Nations Cup Under-21 quadrangular football tournament.
Malaysia were just too good for Singapore, strolling to a 3-0 at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Malacca on Friday night.
In an earlier match, favourites Thailand reached Sunday’s final with a 2-0 win over Vietnam.
Malaysia, coached by German Frank Bernhardt for next year’s Kuala Lumpur SEA Games next year, were the dominant side early in the game.
It came as no surprise that Malaysia were one-up after four minutes. The homesters earned a free-kick and striker Muhd Jafri Firdaus Chew’s shot hit the post and Muhd Safawi Rasid easily tucked away the rebound.
Striker Adam Nor Azlin had a good chance to increase the lead but the Selangor Super League player failed to beat Singapore goalkeeper Muhd Zharfan Rohaizad in the 13th minute.
Singapore’s best chance came in the 35th minute but Joshua Bernard curled his shot wide.
Malaysia had to wait until the 52nd minute to double the tally, thanks to substitute Muhd Syafiq Ahmad. Nur Syamie Iszuan Amin then completed the scoring six minutes from time.
For Thailand, they breached the unsettled Vietnam defence after six minutes. Winger Chaiyawat Buran raced down the left flank before setting up for Nattawut Sombattoytha to slot the ball past goalkeeper Do Sy Huy.
Thailand doubled the lead through midfielder Pravee Tantataemee from a free-kick in the 72nd minute.
In Sunday’s final, Malaysia will play Thailand at 9.45pm. The third-placing playoff between Vietnam and Singapore is at 4.45pm.
Thailand 2 Vietnam 0
Malaysia 3 Singapore 0