Kuala Lumpur: Two goals down inside the first 25 minutes and things were looking ominous for Malaysia at home in the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup final before goals either side of the break helped the hosts secure a 2-2 draw and even with the tie still finely poised it was a downcast Harimau Malaya side post-match.

The player who grabbed the second of those comeback goals with a superbly taken free kick, Safawi Rasid, noted that the team had dug themselves a hole by conceding twice early on.

“Tonight was a bit difficult for us because we fought with a very tough team and it didn’t help that we conceded early goals.

“It was good to be able to fight back and make it 2-2 though but maybe tonight wasn’t our night or our best performance but we’ll try to fix our weaknesses heading into the second leg.”

As Vietnam found out first-hand in front of 80,000 vibrant fans in Kuala Lumpur traveling away in the AFF Suzuki Cup is a daunting task and Malaysia will have to contend with a similar atmosphere when they touch down in Hanoi.

They’ll also have to overcome any mental scars from a 2-0 defeat in the Vietnamese capital during the group stage but Safawi said the team won’t leave anything on the table in pursuit of the nation’s second regional title.

“Maybe we didn’t get any luck at home and I know there will be pressure in Hanoi but we will fight with everything we have to get the result we need and bring the trophy back to Malaysia.”

“We know it won’t be easy to win in Vietnam but I’m sure all my teammates will remain focused and make sure that we’re physically and mentally right to go.”