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PETALING JAYA: Reigning champions South Korea brushed aside Malaysia 4-1 in their opening Group C match in the AFC-Under 23 Asian Cup in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Thursday night (June 2).
The Harimau Muda side under coach Brad Maloney were under no illusion of the tough task ahead to contain the more superior South Korean side in their Group C opener at the Lokomotiv Stadium.
The Koreans, champions in 2020, took a narrow 1-0 lead into half time after captain Lee Sang-min scored from a header in the 31st minute.
The Korean side extended their lead through Kim Tae-hwan in the 48th minute, but Mukhairi Ajmal gave Malaysia some hope when he struck with a clinical finish in the 83rd minute.
However, the Koreans punished Malaysia for their defensive lapses in the closing moments of the game with substitute Cho Young-wook striking twice in the 88th and 92nd minutes.
Malaysia will have no choice but to win their next two games to harbour hopes of making it to the quarterfinals.
Malaysia next plays Thailand this Sunday and then Vietnam on June 8.
The top two from the four groups will qualify for the quarterfinals.
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