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Malaysia stun higher-ranked Turkmenistan in Asian Cup qualifying

Malaysia’s Darren Lok attempts a bicycle kick during the match at Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia beat higher-ranked team Turkmenistan 3-1 in their first Group E match of the 2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil here, tonight.

The atmosphere was enlivened by more than 21,000 spectators who last saw the Harimau Malaya play at home in November 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

There was only one change in the national team’s starting line-up from the one that beat Hong Kong 2-0 in an international friendly last Wednesday, with Faisal Halim replacing Akhyar Rashid on the left wing.

Malaysia dominated the game from the start, which resulted in Safawi Rasid’s 11th-minute goal.

Arif Aiman’s cross from the left side was not properly dealt with by goalkeeper Mammet Orazmuhammedov, and an unmarked Safawi took advantage of the opportunity.