The Harimau Malaya squad undergoes training at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, March 17, 2022. — Bernama pic
HANOI, May 14 — Malaysia has automatically qualified for the semi-finals of the 31st South East Asian (SEA) Games football tournament after Thailand downed Cambodia 5-0 in the Group B match at Thien Truong Stadium in Nam Dinh, Vietnam tonight.
The result of the match means that the national under-23 squad under head coach Brad Maloney advances to the knockout stage as Group B champions.
The national team had earlier fought to a 2-2 draw against Singapore at the same venue, forcing Malaysia to wait for the results of the Thailand-Cambodia clash to see if they would advance to the semi-finals.
Current Group B standings place Malaysia at the top with seven points after three matches, with Thailand second with six points, and only in need of a draw to join the national team in the semi-finals.
The national squad beat Thailand 2-1 and Laos 3-1 in their first two Group B matches.
Malaysia last won the SEA Games gold medal in 2011 while under Datuk Ong Kim Swee. Their best showing after that was runners-up, taking the silver in Kuala Lumpur, but were eliminated in the group stage in the Philippines two years later. — Bernama