Losing start for Malaysia

  • Football
  • Wednesday, 17 Apr 2024

Zikri Khalili dribbling past A. Boriyev during the opening Group D match in the AFC Under-23 Asian Cup where Malaysia were beaten 0-2 by Uzebkistan in Doha.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia stumbled to a 0-2 defeat by 2018 champions Uzbekistan in their opening Group D match in the AFC Under-23 Asian Cup in Doha, Qatar today (Wednesday).

Malaysia kept the game tight for long periods but Uzbekistan's clinical finishing made the difference at Khalifa International Stadium.

Both sides had early chances with Malaysia's Luqman Hakim sending a volley just over the bar in the first minute before Jasurbek Jaloliddinov tested Malaysian goalkeeper Azim Al Amin with a grounder from outside the box.

Luqman was then presented with a tap-in chance on the seventh minute but Saidazamat Mirsaidov produced an outstanding last-ditch block to deny the Yokohama FC forward.

The Uzbeks were ahead four minutes later after Jaloliddinov confidently slotted home a spot-kick, which was awarded after Syahir Bashah dallied inside his own box before eventually fouling Ruslanbek Jiyanov.

Ulugbek Khoshimov settled the contest in the 83rd minute after Khusain Norchaev pounced on a loose ball to set up the former for the finish.

Malaysia will play Vietnam next on Saturday needing nothing less than a win to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the last eight.

After Vietnam, Malaysia will take on Kuwait on April 23.

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