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AFF Championship

Safawi on fire as Malaysia thrash Laos

16:06 GMT+4 09/12/2021
Safawi Rasid Malaysia Suzuki Cup
The JDT ace netted a hat-trick to lead his side the way

A hat-trick from Safawi Rasid has helped Malaysia continue their perfect start at the 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup as they brushed aside Laos 4-0 at Bishan Stadium.

A first-half brace from Safawi set Harimau Malaya on their way before he grabbed a third two minutes after defender Shahrul Saad had also got on the scoresheet during the second half.

The win keeps Malaysia top of the Group B standings, with their coach, Tan Cheng Hoe, saying that it’s important not to get carried away whilst also paying tribute to Safawi.

“It was another great performance from the players and three points that gives us a moral boost but I still feel we need to be more composed at the start of the match to get the right rhythm and I’m hoping that will improve match by match," said Tan.

“As for Safawi, I strongly believe he has a big talent and shows great discipline in training. He realises he’s an icon in Malaysian football and he needs to work hard to reach and keep this level.”

Malaysia next meet Vietnam on December 12, before arch-rivals Indonesia await on the 19th in what could very well be a decisive game in the battle for a spot in the semi-finals.