Kuala Lumpur: 2010 champions Malaysia made it two wins out of two matches in Group B of the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 after their 5-0 defeat of Laos at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

Sri Pahang FC forward Sergio Aguero opened the scoring for Malaysia in the 29th minute, but the home side had to wait to make further inroads as two headers from Faisal Halim in quick succession in the second half put them in a comfortable position.

Haqimi Azim then scored on his international debut before Stuart Wilkin wrapped up the 5-0 win with a strike from distance as Malaysia went top of Group B with six points, ahead of their clash against 2018 champions Vietnam next.

Kim Pan-gon made sweeping changes to the side that edged Myanmar 1-0 in the Group B opener with only Safawi Rasid, Sharul Nazeem and Faisal making successive starts. It was the latter who created the home side’s first chance six minutes from kick-off.

Terengganu attacker Faisal skipped past Laos captain Soukaphone Vongchiengkham first on the left wing and then full-back At Viengkham inside the box, but failed to hit the target with his shot from a tight angle.

Malaysia continued to exploit that side of the Laotian defence through Faisal in the early parts of the game and his ball across the goal had to be headed clear for a corner by Phoutthavong Sangvilay in the 26th minute.

The Harimau Malaya eventually found the breakthrough just before the half hour mark. Mukhairi Ajmal found his Selangor teammate Nor Hakim Hassan on the left and the overlapping wing-back crossed in for Aguero to tap in for his first international goal.

Aguero could have added a second in the 36th minute when David Rowley chested down a ball inside the box and lifted it over the defence to the Argentine-born forward whose finish, with just the goalkeeper to beat, was some way off.

Just before the referee brought the first half to a close, it looked as if Phathana Phommathep’s wayward clearance had beaten Laos goalkeeper Keo-Oudone Souvannasangso as it sailed over him towards the goal, but the shot-stopper scrambled back to palm the ball away before it crossed the line.

After failing to produce much in attack at the start of the second half, Malaysia sprang into life after the hour mark with Faisal heading in a Safawi cross to double his side’s advantage in the 65th minute.

The diminutive attacker popped up again to head home three minutes later, this time a cross from Nor Hakim, and become the joint top scorer of the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 with his third goal.

Substitute Lee Tuck was cautioned in the 72nd minute for bundling in a cross into the goal with his hand before he produced a save from Keo-Oudone with a strike from distance. Rowley then went close for Kim’s side with a header from the ensuing corner.

19-year-old Haqimi came off the bench to score with a volley in the 77th minute making his Malaysia debut a memorable one before Wilkin’s shot from distance slipped through the fingers of Keo-Oudone to make it 5-0 with three minutes left to play.

Laos went close through Anousone Xaypanya’s long-range effort in second-half stoppage time, but it was not to be as Michael Weiss's side fell to their second defeat in a row having conceded 11 goals without reply.