Malaysia maintain perfect start with second win at Southeast Asian Games

Malaysia continued their perfect start at the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Wednesday, cruising to a 3-0 victory over Laos for their second straight win in Group B.

Luqman Hakim Shamsudin got the Malaysians on their way in the 36th minute when he got in behind the opposition defence down the left, expertly cutting inside a recovering defender to improve his angle before his low drive was deflected past a hapless Keo-Oudone Souvannasangso.

Two minutes before halftime, Syahir Bashah doubled Malaysia's lead as he cleverly created space for himself on the edge of the box and proceeding to bend a 20-yard effort beyond Keo-Oudone's despairing dive and just inside the post.

Luqman then struck again in the 68th minute to put the result beyond doubt, although the Laotians did manage a consolation with five minutes remaining through a Phithack Kongmathilath effort.

The result, coupled with their opening-day 2-1 triumph over record 16-time gold medallists Thailand, means Malaysia now sit top of Group B with a two-point lead over Singapore -- who have played a game more -- while the Thais and Cambodia are a further point adrift.

Malaysia can potentially secure their place in the semifinals with a game to spare on Saturday against fierce rivals Singapore, while Laos will not be in action with the other Group B tie seeing Cambodia take on Thailand.