Malaysia secure second leg win vs. Timor-Leste in Asian Cup playoff

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Khair Jefri Jones, right, put Malaysia ahead on the night at Larkin Stadium with a 16th minute goal.
Khair Jefri Jones, right, put Malaysia ahead on the night at Larkin Stadium with a 16th minute goal.

Malaysia eased into the third round of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers with a 3-0 win over Timor-Leste in the second leg of their playoff at the Larkin Stadium on Monday evening to record a 6-0 victory on aggregate.

A first international goal from Khair Jefri Jones in the first half set Malaysia on the road to a second consecutive win.

Just before the hour, Hazwan Bakri headed home the second and soon after that S. Chanturu struck to give the team an emphatic win over two legs.

At a sparsely attended Larkin stadium, the Tigers may have officially been the away team but after winning the first leg 3-0 five days previously at the same venue, the outcome was never in doubt in a low-key second leg.

In the end, it was a dominant performance. Ong Kim Swee’s men were on the front foot from the start.

Malaysia should have put the contest beyond all doubt after 11 minutes but Amirulhadi shot straight at Ramos Maxanches from close range.

It didn’t matter as five minutes later. Khair Jefri popped up at the far post to shoot into the corner. Ahmad Bin Bakri scuffed his attempt after a cross from the right and it fell to the Melaka United man who buried his shot in the near bottom corner to open his international account in just his second appearance for the national team.

From that moment, Timor-Leste needed to score five goals. Apart from a Paulo Helber shot after 25 minutes that was tipped over by Izham Tarmizi, it never looked like happening.

Instead, Malaysia extended their lead two minutes before the hour mark, Azrif Nasrulhaq scampered free down the right and his perfect cross was nodded home in emphatic fashion at the near post by Hazwan for his third goal over the two legs.

If confirmation of Malaysia’s dominance was needed, it was provided midway through the second half. A perfect cross from Kumaahran from the right corner of the area found fellow substitute Chanturu at the far post and the JDT star volleyed home from close range.

Despite the best efforts of Timor-Leste, Malaysia picked up a very welcome second successive clean sheet.

The draw for the third round, when 24 teams will compete for the 12 remaining spots in the continental tournament in the United Arab Emirates, will take place in September.

Timor Leste: Ramos Maxanches (GK) (Perreira 88′), Filipe Oliveria, Ramon Lima Saro, Diogo Santos Rangel, Nelsen, Anggisu Barbosa, Pualo Helber, Junior De Souza (Ries 52′), Adelino De Oliveira, Henrique Cruz, (Gama 84′) Frangcyatma Alves

Malaysia: Izham (GK), Fazly, Aidil, Shahrom, Kunanlan, Khair (Chanturu 46′), Baddrol, Brendan Gan, Azrif, Hazwan (Kumaahran 65′), Amirulhadi (Zaquan Adha 77′)

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