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Malaysia dethrones Singapore in wild finish

Norshahrul Idlan Talaha and Shakir Hamzah battle for the loose ball. AP
By Ivan Saldajeno

Stoppage time goals lifted Malaysia over Singapore, 3-1, in their crucial AFF Suzuki Cup clash at the latter's home turf.

In what turned out to be a do-or-die match for the last seat in the semifinal round, a lot of action took place in the first half as both teams looked to get a headstart.

Safee Sali then almost silenced the Singaporean crowd as his shot hit the goal post in the 41st minute.

Another tense moment took place early in the second half as Malaysia's Norshahrul Idlan Talaha got past an offside trap and found himself free for a strike only to be cleared out by Singapore's Safuwan Baharudin.

Sali finally put the Malaysians on the board at the 63rd minute with a huge goal that stunned the opposing audience.

But Khairul Amri tied the ballgame for Singapore with a follow-up shot 20 minutes later.

Singapore, only needing a draw to advance, looked to secure the stalemate entering stoppage time.

But the team conceded a penalty at the first minute of stoppage time and Safiq Rahim scored the spot kick to put Malaysia back on top.

Substitute Indra Putra sealed the win for the Malaysians with a rocket goal deep from the right flank after three minutes.

Malaysia, which finished in second spot in Group B behind Thailand, will face Vietnam in the semifinals beginning on December 7 in Kuala Lumpur with a return leg in Hanoi on December 11.