Malaysia got the early goal but lost 3-5 to Singapore in the first leg Asian Zone World Cup Qualifier match at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on Saturday (23/7/11).
Now Malaysia faces a tough battle in the second leg match which will take place on July 28 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia took the lead barely 24 second after the opening whistle through Mohd Safee Mohd Sali but the early goal did little to unsettle Singapore, dubbed the Lions, whose relentless attack earned them a free-kick just outside the box in the seventh minute.
Aleksandar Duric converted the free kick to level the score 1-1.
The Malaysians, dubbed the Malayan Tigers, found themselves having to defend against a spirited Singapore, whose striker Shi Jiayi was wreaking havoc in front of Malaysia's goalmouth.
Singapore earned another goal in the 21st minute with Qiu Li converting a free-kick outside the box following a foul on teammate Sharil Ishak. Mustafic Fahrudin scored the third goal in the 43rd minute while another by Shi Jiayi in the 45th minute put the score at 4-1.
In the second half, the Malaysians, who were reduced to 10 men after their captain Shafiq Rahim was shown the red card in the 50th minute, stepped up the pressure and soon found themselves closing the gap through Abdul Hadi Yahaya and Safee Sali who scored a goal each in the 68th and 69th minutes.
Duric, however, widened the gap to 5-3 in the 80th minute, throwing the race for the qualifier wide open when both teams meet for their second leg match in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.
MALAYSIA: Mohd Sharbinee Allawee, Mahalli Jasuli, Mohd Asraruddin Omar, Mohamad Muslim Ahmad, Mohd Fadhli Mohd Shas, Shariq Rahim, Ismail Faruqi Ashari (Mohd Amirulhadi Zainal), Mohd Safee Sali (Izaq Faris Ramlan), Amar Rohidan, Ahmad Fakri Saarani (Abdul Hadi Yahaya), Kunanlan Subramaniam.
SINGAPORE: Mohamad Izwan Mahbud, Muhamad Safuwan Baharudin, Shi Jiayi, Alexsandar Duric, Qiu Li (Fazrul Nawaz Shahul Hameed), Hariss Harun, Mustafic Fahrudin, Daniel Bennet, Shahril Ishak (Shahdan Sulaiman), Ismail Yunos, Juma'at Jantan (Shaiful).
REFEREE: Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain).