Asean Para Games: Malaysia upset Thailand to clinch football five-a-side gold

SINGAPORE - Malaysia upset defending champions Thailand with a pulsating 2-1 win in the final game of the Asean Para Games football five-a-side competition at the Marina Bay Sands Hall B on Tuesday.

With the win, the Malaysians topped the four-team group on seven points while Thailand finished with six points. Vietnam claimed bronze after their 2-0 victory over hosts Singapore earlier in the day put them in third spot.

A 21st-minute goal from Mohd Zamha put the Malaysians in the lead, but Thailand's Kittikorn Baodee struck back through an indirect free-kick in the 41st minute.

A dazzling individual effort from Ahmad Fikri two minutes later sealed the victory for the underdogs.

There was late drama as the Thais were awarded a penalty three minutes from time, but Panyawut Kupan scuffed his shot wide to the jubilation of the Malaysian supporters.

Malaysian coach Shalesh Manickavasagam said: "Thailand is a respected opponent, they know how we play and they know how we play.

"We've developed since the game since 2009 and we lost to Thailand in 2014. This joy is so meaningful. It's not about revenge over Thailand but it's about bringing this back for themselves for the country.This will be written (in history books) for a long time."

mmohan@sph.com.sg