PETALING JAYA: Malaysia finally ended their 16-year wait to win the AFF Under-19 championship.
The national team, who were runners-up in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2017, edged Myanmar 4-3 in the final at the Gelora Joko Samudro Stadium in Gresik, Indonesia, Saturday night.
Malaysia got of the perfect start after Awang Muhd Faiz Haziqq Awang Fathi struck from outside the box in the third minute and Nik Akif Syahiran Nik Mat doubled Malaysia's lead in the 19th minute as he pounced on a rebound to power home a low shot.
Malaysia took their feet off the pedal after the two-goal lead and Myanmar quickly capitalised.
The two-time champions clawed back into the game as Win Naing Tun punished the Malaysia backline's carelessness with a composed finish in the 24th minute. Skipper Myat Kaung Khant then helped himself to a quick brace in 27th and 31st minute to give his side a shock lead.
Malaysia started the second half aggressively but could not find a breakthrough as they kept misplacing passes in the final third.
Coach Bojan Hodak's men dug deep and clawed back into the game in the last 20 minutes of the game with A. Shivan Pillay scoring the equaliser from goal mouth melee in the 76th and Akif put the cherry on the cake as he fired in the winner from a free kick deep into added time.