MALAYSIA U-23 2
BRUNEI U-23 0
It only took Malaysia 6 minutes to create their first chance, with Ashri Chuchu showing some good skills down the left flank, before floating in a cross into the box. Rozaimi connected with it via a diving header, but his attempt went wide off the post. Nazmi Faiz then showed great awareness to find Fadhli Shas, but the latter's attempt, though venomous, was way off the goal. Brunei then broke through on the offensive although Adi Said's shot never really looked threatening.
The Bruneian defence were certainly on song as they stood firm against the superior counterparts, forcing Malaysia to resort to their flanks in order to push forward. So they did, and Ashri Chuchu's combination with Irfan Fazail proved impeccable. Ashri played a through ball for Izzaq on the 22nd minute, and the tall striker did well to squeeze in a shot towards goal, but the Brunei custodian was equal to it, yet again.
Ultimately, Malaysia took the lead on the 28th minute mark, courtesy of Rozaimi Rahman. Irfan Fazail threaded a killer ball for the Sabah-born forward and he made no mistakes by firing home to give Harimau Muda the advantage.
The Young Tigers continued to push hard to increase their lead with Ashri Chuchu and Thamil Arasue all missing a couple of key chances. Brunei were more than happy to sit back and work their way via counter attacks, as they did on the 39th minute. Azwan broke free from the Malaysian midfield and sprinted across the middle of the park, before unleashing a shot, which was fortunately saved by Izham Tarmizi.
Azwan also had another golden opportunity in the dying seconds of the first half, but K. Reuben was perfectly positioned to prevent Brunei from restoring parity as the score line remained 1-0 in favour of Malaysia at half time.
After the break, Malaysia continued to maintain control of the ball, but Brunei were slowly growing in confidence. Azwan Ali missed a chance on the 49th minute mark, before Azizi's surging run down the flank was intercepted by K. Reuben. Malaysia too, had their fair share of missed chances.
Ong Kim Swee then brought on Saarvindran in place of Izzaq Faris, which added more pace into Malaysia's offensive department. Rozaimi had a terrific opportunity to increase Malaysia's lead on the hour's mark but it went agonizingly off target.
But just when Brunei continued to look dangerous on the break, Harimau Muda finally got their second goal of the game. Ashri Chuchu, who is highly rated by Ong Kim Swee, proved his mettle with a long range piledriver that flew into the back of the net to give Malaysia a 2-0 lead.
The goal increased Malaysia's confidence as they upped their tempo from then on. Rozaimi's positional ability caused havoc in Brunei's defence and they continuously pushed for the elusive third goal. Thamil Arasu, who was guilty of not converting several good opportunities, could have salvaged some pride for himself late in the game, but the talented forward's header was tipped away to safety by Brunei's goalkeeper.
Ong Kim Swee kept urging his men down the touchline, but at final whistle, it was a comfortable 2-0 win for Malaysia, as they opened their South East Asian Games campaign on a positive note.