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Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia sealed top spot in Group A after beating Laos 3-1 in their final Kuala Lumpur 2017 SEA Games men's football preliminary round match at the Shah Alam Stadium on Wednesday.

The win means the hosts will be the only team in the semi-finals with a perfect record, which will be something the other sides will be wary of.

Malaysia coach Ong Kim Swee, with his eyes on Saturday's semi-finals, gave several of his fringe players the chance to get some game time.

Despite that, the home fans expected a Malaysian win and despite their team not playing as fluently as they did in the 3-1 win over Myanmar on Monday, there were enough signs to indicate the three points would be theirs.

Malaysia's first look at goal was a half chance for Jafri Firdaus Chew (pictured above) in the 12th minute but the player failed to connect cleanly from just outside the six yard box.

Another chance went abegging in the 21st minute when Syafiq Ahmad, the recipient of a cross from Chew, missed the target.

Five minutes later, Malaysia got their opening goal as an alert Chew slotted home the ball after Ahmad's header had rebounded off the crossbar.

Laos, however, silenced the Malaysian fans in the 32nd minute through a brilliant free-kick by Thanin Phanthavong (pictured above, centre), whose effort from just outside the penalty area hit the right upright before settling in the back of the net.

Malaysia, however, enjoyed a stroke of luck in the 39th minute when Adib Zainudin's cross into the Laos penalty area was deflected into the net by Lounlasy Lathasay.

The second half was a rather slow affair but the hosts finally sealed the win in stoppage time when Chew finished off a cross from Ahmad and Malaysia now await Thursday's final round of Group B matches to know their semi-final opponents. 


Singapore ended their campaign with a 1-0 win over Brunei at the Selayang Stadium.

Victory was courtesy of an own goal by Brunei's Khalid Mahmud in the 74th minute, which gave Richard Tardy's men their second win after having beaten Laos 2-0 in Matchday 3.

Singapore, however, lost to Myanmar and Malaysia and were already out of the running for the semi-finals prior to Wednesday's match.

Group A

Results

August 14: Myanmar 2-0 Singapore, Malaysia 2-1 Brunei

August 16: Singapore 1-2 Malaysia, Myanmar 3-1 Laos

August 18: Laos 0-2 Singapore, Brunei 0-6 Myanmar

August 21: Brunei 0-3 Laos, Malaysia 3-1 Myanmar

August 23: Laos 1-2 Malaysia, Singapore 1-0 Brunei

Final Standings

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Malaysia

4

4

0

0

10

4

12

Myanmar

4

3

0

1

12

9

9

Singapore

4

2

0

2

4

4

6

Laos

4

1

0

3

5

7

3

Brunei

4

0

0

4

1

12

0

 


Group B

Results

August 15: Indonesia 1-1 Thailand, Vietnam 4-0 Timor-Leste, Cambodia 0-2 Philippines

August 17: Vietnam 4-1 Cambodia, Indonesia 3-0 Philippines, Thailand 1-0 Timor-Leste

August 20: Timor-Leste 0-1 Indonesia, Philippines 0-4 Vietnam, Thailand 3-0 Cambodia

August 22: Philippines 0-2 Thailand, Cambodia 0-1 Timor-Leste, Vietnam 0-0 Indonesia

Standings

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Vietnam

4

3

1

0

12

1

10

Thailand 

4

3

1

0

7

1

10

Indonesia 

4 2 2 0 5 1

8

Timor-Leste 

4

1

0

3

1

6

3

Philippines

4

1

0

3

2

9

3

Cambodia

4

0

0

4

1

10

0

 

Fixtures

August 24: Indonesia v Cambodia, Thailand v Vietnam, Timor-Leste v Philippines


August 26: Semi-finals

August 29: Final

Photos: MASOC