Malaysia made all but sure of a place in the second round of Asian qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ with a 7-1 win over Timor-Leste in their first round, first leg at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. The return will be played at the same venue on Tuesday.
Safawi Rasid, despite missing an early penalty, shone brightest for the Malayan Tigers. The 22-year-old instigated their opening two goals, before scoring himself either side of half-time.
Rasid’s 12th-minute cross set up left-back La’Vere Corbin Ong for the opener, before he then saw his spot-kick saved by Aderito Raul Fernandes.
It deterred him not. Midway through the first half, Rasid combined with Matthew Davies to enable Shahrel Fikri Fauzi to make it 2-0.
Norshahrul Idlan Talaha and Rasid ensured Malaysia went in at the break four goals up.
Joao Freitas pulled one back shortly after the restart to give Timor-Leste some hope, but it didn’t last long. Rasid netted from close range, substitute Faiz Nasir made it 6-1 with a spectacular volley, and Akhyar Rashid sealed what was easily the biggest victory of the opening six fixtures in the first round.