The 19th Merdeka Football Tournament began on Tuesday (29 July) with the defending champions Malaysia losing to South Korea 3-1 in the opening match.
GV Opening parade
GV Malaysian PM Tun Razak and others
GV Parade in progress
MV Malaysian king and Razak
GV Korean supporters in stands
GV South korea kick off from right to left
GV Match in progress (5 shots)
GV Malaysia kick off from left to right
GV Spectators watching
GV Match in progress (2 shots)
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Background: The 19th Merdeka Football Tournament began on Tuesday (29 July) with the defending champions Malaysia losing to South Korea 3-1 in the opening match.
The tournament, rated as one of Asia's most prestigious football events, is held annually in Kuala Lumpur to mark the anniversary of Malaysia's independence. Teams from eight nations entered in this year's event.
The Malaysian team proved a disappointment to a large crowd of spectators. The home team's only score came shortly after South Korean's third goal.
South Korea....last year's finalists....have now become this year's favourite in the tournament.
SYNOPSIS: In malaysia on Tuesday....a parade to open Asia's most prestigious football event. It's the Merdeka Football Tournament, held annually in the capital, Kuala Lumpur. Prime Minister Tun Razak and the Malaysian King were at the opening. The tournament, the nineteenth, marks the anniversary of Malaysia's independence.
The opening match was between the defending champion Malaysia, and South Korea.
The South Koreans, playing in dark jerseys and white shorts, kicked off. They had to contend with a soggy and slippery Merdeka Stadium pitch.
The Koreans took the offensive from the start. Two minutes into the game, left-wing Kim Jin Kook stunned the home team....and gave South korea an early load. The Malaysians fought back grimly but their attacks were blunted by a solid korean defence. The Malaysians stormed the South Korean goal soon after the interval. But the South Korean defence held. The Koreans switched tactics and concentrated on breakaway raids. Their efforts paid off in the seventy-third minute when striker Park Sung Wha headed the ball into the net.
The home team proved a disappointment to the large crowd of spectators. Last year it defeated South Korea in the finals.
The South Koreans let the Malaysians take just one goal. That left the score at three-one. The opening-match victory put the South Koreans into a good position and made them the favourite for this year's tournament.