Yangon: Syihan Hazmi saved a late penalty to help Malaysia get their AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 campaign off to a winning start following a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Myanmar in Group B on Wednesday.

After a goalless opening 45 minutes at Thuwunna Stadium, it was the visitors who took the lead early in the second half through Faisil Halim’s sixth international goal.

Myanmar pushed for an equaliser and were awarded a penalty in the 90th minute but goalkeeper Syihan was the hero as he denied Win Naing Tun to esnure Kim Pan-gon's team claimed a narrow win. 

The fixture marked Myanmar’s first home game since beating Mongolia 1-0 in Yangon in November 2019 as they made a long-awaited return to their homeland, where they had won their previous three matches.

After an even opening 10 minutes, Malaysia started to take control with Safawi Rasid seeing plenty of the ball, but it was the hosts who had the first real chance of note following a fine flowing move in the 19th minute.

Yan Naing Oo played the ball to Maung Maung Lwin who sent a lovely pass over the top for Lwin Moe Aung who in turn found Aung Kaung Mann, but the striker found himself surrounded by yellow shirts as he sought room to shoot from just outside the six-yard area.

Soon after, Kyaw Min Oo lofted a long ball over the Malaysian backline that was well controlled by the advancing Hein Htet Aung, only for the midfielder to skew his left-foot effort on the turn wide.

The Harimau Malaya were next to threaten when the ball broke to Faisil in the left side of the penalty area, but the Terengganu forward bent his attempt just wide of Kyaw Zin Phyo’s left post before he fired another shot over on the 40-minute mark.

But as half-time approached Myanmar suffered a major as their skipper Maung Maung Lwin went off injured and seven minutes after the restart things went from bad to worse as the hosts fell behind.

Safawi broke through the centre in the 52nd minute before playing an inch-perfect through ball that split the Myanmar defence and rolled into the path of the onrushing Faisil, who coolly slotted past Kyaw Zin Phyo to give the Malaysians the lead.

Antoine Hey’s Myanmar looked to get back into the game and with a little under 20 minutes to play, Kyaw Min Oo fired a thunderous strike from at least 40 yards out that required a flying Syihan to tip over.

Then, with less than a minute left on the clock, Myanmar were awarded a penalty when Sharul Nazeem was adjudged to have fouled Win Naing Tun in the box and the referee pointed to the spot.

Up stepped Win Naing Tun but his low spot-kick to Syihan's left was tipped wide by the goalkeeper as Malaysia survived a huge scare to pick up all three points.

Malaysia will return to Kuala Lumpur to face Laos on December 24 while Myanmar face an away date with Singapore on the same day.