In Kuala Lumpur yesterday (Thursday), Malaysia, the defending Merdeka football champions, get off to a winning start by beating Thailand 1-0 in the opening group A match.
MCU Sign '12th Merdeka Tournament'
LS Kick off - Malaysia left Thailand right
LS Play continues
LS 2nd half of play - Malaysia/Thailand
LS Play continues
LS Play continues and goal scored
CU Boy holding Korean flag
LS Start of game between Indonesia (right) and Korea (left)
LS Play continues and score made (three shots)
MLS Spectators (two shots)
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Background: In Kuala Lumpur yesterday (Thursday), Malaysia, the defending Merdeka football champions, get off to a winning start by beating Thailand 1-0 in the opening group A match.
Malaysia's hero was centre-forward Shaharuddin Abdullah, who apart from scoring the deciding goal in the 44th minutes, was easily the most dangerous man afield.
Thailand started off well with many forceful thrusts which were quickly shattered by the Malaysians.
There were several rapid exchanges and both sides forced corners but neither could score. This disappointed the 15,000 football fans. But 16 minutes after kick-off, Malaysia's leftwinger, Fook Yoong ran round the shaky Thai defence and netted a goal. But he was ruled offside.
In the second match of the day, Indonesian had an easy game against South Korea which resulted in a 3-0 victory.
The win came in sudden sharp raids which were masterminded by Indonesia's former Asia all-stars Sutijipto Suntoro and Jacob Sinasale.
The Indonesian tactics were mainly to funnel their raids through their speedy wingers.
The work of the youthful Koreans was not flowing as smoothly as they would have wished. Two players were replaced in the course of the game - an inside-left and fullback. Still the Indonesians were able to dictate terms with their speedy football which make them "very strong rivals" to Malaysia in Group A.
The Indonesian scored two goals within 18 minutes after kick-off. The third goal came one minute after half-time.