Hanoi: Vietnam have been crowned the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup champions after Nguyen Anh Duc scored the only goal of the game in the second leg of the final against Malaysia at My Dinh Stadium on Saturday as the 1-0 win secured a 3-2 aggregate victory.

After the sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the first leg in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, Anh Duc opened the scoring early in the return meeting to leave Malaysia needing at least two goals to claim their second title.

Malaysia pushed after the interval but struggled to create any clear-cut opportunities and in the end Vietnam were able to comfortably see the game out to add to the title they won back in 2008.

Vietnam got off to the best possible start by taking the lead in the sixth minute when Do Hung Dung found Nguyen Quang Hai in the left of the penalty area and the midfielder turned to dink in a beautiful cross that Anh Duc volleyed home from eight yards.

The visitors had their first effort on goal in the tenth minute, with Mohamadou Sumareh’s speculative backheel from just outside the six yard box going narrowly wide after Safawi Rasid had failed to connect with Syahmi Safari’s low ball into the area.

Malaysia were seeing more of the ball but the hosts looked the more likely to score the second goal of the night and Hung Dung should have done better when he sliced his shot wide shortly after the half hour mark.

Tan Cheng Hoe’s team threatened again just a minute before half-time when Syahmi’s attempt was bound for the top corner, only for goalkeeper Dang Van Lam to tip wide at full stretch.

Needing to score twice, Malaysia came close after the restart but Van Lam was on hand again to parry out Sumareh’s header from Safawi’s corner before Syamer Kutty’s follow-up effort was well blocked by defender Do Duy Manh, who threw himself to the ground to deny the midfielder.

The big goalkeeper then saved again from Safawi’s free-kick from almost the identical spot as he scored from in the first leg as the visitors began to ask further questions of the Vietnam defence.

Hung Dung fizzed a shot just over for the hosts as the game entered its final 20 minutes and substitute Nguyen Phong Hong Duy fired over 10 minutes later as Vietnam edged closer to the title.

As the clock ticked down the crowd inside My Dinh Stadium began to sense victory as Malaysia appeared to run out of ideas in and around the Vietnam penalty area.

Then, with just seconds remaining, Malaysia’s misery was compounded as Shahrul Saad was dismissed for a second bookable offence, before the referee brought the game to as close as Vietnam were crowned AFF Suzuki Cup champions for the second time.