Malaysia 1-2 Lebanon: Nelo Vingada’s tenure gets off to frustrating start

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Photo Credit: FAM

Lebanon broke millions of Malaysian hearts as they scored a last-minute goal to seal a dramatic 2-1 win in the 2019 Asia Cup Qualifiers.

Mahali Jasuli scored the first goal in Nelo Vingada’s inaugural match, but two moments of brilliance by substitute Rabih Ataya stole it from Malaysia’s noses.

Malaysia started brightly with some fast attacks but Lebanon grew more into the game but failed to challenge Mohd Khairul Azhan’s goal.

However, they could’ve had at least two penalties in two minutes. On the 27th minute, captain Hassan Maatouk from the left tried to bamboozle Khairul Helmi, but was fouled by the Kedah defender and no penalty was given.

Then, Soony Saad also tried to trick Helmi and he was just clipped by the heels when he was about to find space, but again the referee waved play on.

Maatouk though was able to unleash a powerful shot that Khairul Azhan had to tip it over the bar on the 38th minute.

Syazwan Zainon could’ve put Malaysia in the lead when he ran ahead of a defender to receive Hazwan Bakri’s through pass, but he just put his low shot wide.

Malaysia though got the lead through a gift when Lebanon keeper, Mehdi Khalil spilled Syazwan’s low cross and the loose ball fell to Mahali to score two minutes before half-time.

Straight from the restart though, Lebanon peppered Malaysia’s goal, resulting Khairul Azhan to a double save from Samir Ayass’ curler from the left and the rebound effort from Soony Saad.

Lebanon continued to attack with close efforts from substitutes Ataya and Hilal El-Helwe yielded nothing. Then, they finally got their reward on the 80th minute.

From a right-wing free-kick, Ataya received the ball and curled in a beautiful effort by the edge of the box that left everyone shellshocked.

Substitute Amri Yahyah could’ve put Malaysia back in the lead, but he shoots over the bar with Khalil still on the ground.

Then, Lebanon delivered the ultimate sucker punch three minutes into injury time when Ataya received a through pass on the right and shoots past Khairul Azhan that not only got Lebanon a vital win, but also left Malaysia absolutely devastated.