Kuala Lumpur: A late brace from Norshahrul Idlan Talaha secured a dramatic 3-1 win for Malaysia over a gutsy Laos to make it two wins from two matches for Tan Cheng Hoe’s side.

The visitors stunned the packed crowd at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in just the seventh minute when Phithack Kongmathilath produced a contender for goal of the tournament with a sensational free kick to give Laos a surprise early lead.

It was a lead that lasted less than ten minutes, however, with the home side drawing level after 15 minutes. A cheeky backheel from Safawi Rasid played Syahmi Safari into space down the right hand side, with the defender whipping in a beautiful cross that was turned home by Zaquan Adha.

The home side side continued to dominate as the half wore on, enjoying more than 70% possession, but try as they might they couldn’t find a way past the stubborn Laos defence.

That domination continued in the second half as the Laos goal lived a charmed life as first Aidil Zafuan and then substitute Akhyar Rashid hit the crossbar in the space of three minutes midway through the second half.

In between those two chances Ahmad Hazwan inexplicably missed from close range after a beautifully weighted cross from Rashid found him unmarked at the back post.

Zafuan again came close to giving the home side the lead with just ten minutes remaining, but his header went agonisingly wide.

Just as it looked like Malaysia would be left to rue their litany of wasted chances, the breakthrough finally came with just under five minutes of regulation time remaining when Norshahrul turned the ball home from close range after a scramble in the box.

The Pahang striker secured his brace in stoppage time with a diving header to make it three goals in two games for the 32-year-old and secure an important three points for his side to the delight of the vocal crowd at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium.

Malaysia now face a tough trip to Hanoi to face Vietnam on Friday, while Laos must recover for the visit of Myanmar.