Safawi shines with hattrick as Harimau Malaya thrash Laos

Nippy winger Safawi Rasid struck a splendid hattrick to move Malaysia to a 4-0 pounding of Laos for their subsequent straight success in Group B of the 2020 AFF Cup at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore today.

Harimau Malaya mentor Tan Cheng Hoe’s intense move in patching up the midfield and assault brought about a slicker, more keen and more viable presentation from his men contrasted with their initial 3-1 success over Cambodia on Monday.

Cheng Hoe supplanted Putera Nadher Amarhan Maderner, Akhyar Rashid and naturalized player Guilherme de Paula with Arif Aiman Hanapi, Mukhairi Ajmal Mahadi and Belgian club KV Kortrijk’s striker Luqman Hakim Shamsudin.

Laos, who began the game by beating the Malaysian goalmouth with three endeavors in the initial five minutes, were gotten flatfooted on a counterattack, with Safawi cooly tapping in a pass from Arif Aiman in the seventh moment.

After three minutes, Malaysia almost multiplied their lead yet Syafiq Ahmad’s header hit the post while the subsequent endeavor by captain Aidil Zafuan Radzak hit the bar.

It was then passed on to Safawi to make it 2-0 when his header, off a corner taken by Arif from the left, cruised past Laos goalkeeper Keo Oudone Sovannasangso in the 34th moment.

World No 154 Malaysia returned the subsequent half and kept on barraging the V Selvaraj-instructed Laos protection.

To start with, experienced midfielder Baddrol Bakhtiar’s amazing long-range drive missed the objective by creeps in the 56th moment. After three minutes, Safawi’s freekick endeavor was moved out by Keo.

Harimau Malaya, be that as it may, didn’t need to stand by long for the third objective as, off a fast counterattack, protector Shahrul Saad got a through pass from Baddrol to opening home in the 78th moment.

After two minutes Safawi finished his hattrick, and scored his fourth objective of this mission, when he hooked onto a through pass from substitute R Kogileswaran prior to controlling a grounder to the right half of the Laos goalmouth.

Malaysia next face reigning champs Vietnam on Sunday and wrap up their gathering stage against Indonesia on Dec 19.

Just the best two groups from each gathering will progress to the elimination rounds.

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