SINGAPORE, 2023, MARCH 26 – Malaysia U-22, led by coach E. Elavarasan, lifted the Merlion Cup for the first time in 41 years after defeating East Asian nation Hong Kong 2-1 in the final at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore on 26 March.
It was Malaysia’s first-ever Merlion Cup trophy since the tournament’s inception in 1982. The win was marred by two red cards, with Malaysia striker Haqimi Azim Rosli and Hong Kong striker Maddox Kong sent off by the match referee.
Winger Najmudin Akmal scored the first goal in the 75th minute, and in the 79th minute, Safwan Mazlan got the second. Lau Ka Kiu scored Hong Kong’s consolation in the 80th minute after a first-half deadlock.
The Harimau Muda beat Hong Kong in the final after a hard-fought campaign that included a 4-2 victory over Cambodia in the semi-finals.