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Kuala Lumpur: Hosts Malaysia opened their KL 2017 SEA Games on a winning note but they were made to work hard by a plucky Brunei before sealing a 2-1 triumph in their men's football Group A tie at the Shah Alam Stadium on Monday. 

Malaysia, coming into the tournament on a high after having sealed their place in the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship last month, enjoyed a dream start as they took the lead from just about their first attack as Matthew Davies’ perfectly floated cross was met with a superb volley by Safawi Rasid in the fourth minute.

Although Malaysia, who won back-to-back SEA Games gold in 2009 and 2011, continued to dominate after the goal with Davies threatening with his crosses, Brunei impressed with some steely defending and struck back despite being under relentless pressure.

As Malaysia pressed forward in search of a second goal, a counter attack saw Zulkhairy Hady Razali beat the Malaysian defence and slot home in the 12th minute.

A stung Malaysia piled on the pressure but when the referee blew for half-time, the teams headed for the changing rooms on level terms.

Malaysia continued where they left off in the first half as they maintained a high tempo when the match restarted, forcing Brunei to defend from deep.

The home team’s pressure paid off in the 60th minute when Adam Nor Azlin rose high to head home a corner taken by Syafiq Ahmad.

Up next for Malaysia are Singapore on August 16.

Aung Thu was Singapore's nemesis yet again as his brace steered Myanmar to a 2-0 win in their opening KL 2017 SEA Games men's football Group A tie at the Selayang Stadium on Monday.

The striker had scored once when Myanmar beat Singapore 2-0 when they met in last month's AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers in Yangon and he was back to haunt the team from the Lion City again with a superb performance. 

While Myanmar fully deserved the three points, Singapore gave a good account of themselves and will look forward to their remaining matches with confidence as they bid to qualify for the semi-finals.

A heavy pitch saw both teams make a cautious start but Myanmar, the silver medallists in the 2015 SEA Games, slowly began to exert their authority and controlled possession.


Singapore, however, defended resolutely but suffered a body blow when Myanmar took the lead in first half stoppage time when Aung Thu capitalised on a rebound which saw the ball fall perfectly at his feet for him to slot home.

Singapore, however, came out firing after the break and sprayed the Myanmar goalmouth with several attempts but just when it looked like the equaliser was forthcoming, Aung Thu struck again in the 61st minute.

Mg Mg Lwin played a major part in the goal, as he turned a Singapore defender before playing an inch perfect pass for Aung Thu to tap home.

That was the three points sealed and Myanmar can now look forward to playing Laos on Wednesday.

Group A


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


August 16: Singapore v Malaysia, Myanmar v Laos

August 18: Laos v Singapore, Brunei v Myanmar

August 21: Brunei v Laos, Malaysia v Myanmar

August 23: Laos v Malaysia, Singapore v Brunei

Group B

August 15: Indonesia v Thailand, Vietnam v Timor-Leste, Cambodia v Philippines

August 17: Vietnam v Cambodia, Indonesia v Philippines, Thailand v Timor-Leste

August 20: Philippines v Vietnam, Timor-Leste v Indonesia, Thailand v Cambodia

August 22: Cambodia v Timor-Leste, Philippines v Thailand, Vietnam v Indonesia

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

August 26: Semi-finals

August 29: Final

Photos: MASOC