Malaysia tonight defeated Australia 3-0 in Vietnam at the AFF U18s Championships.

“We had a fair idea of how the Aussies would want to play," Maloney told FTBL post-match. “We focused on what we’re good at.

“We stuck to what we do well and what we can influence.

“With the way Australian teams play now, with the FFA’s curriculum we watched them in a few games here and identified a few areas we could perhaps capitalize on.

“And the players executed perfectly.”

In difficult conditions, on a heavy pitch with extreme heat in the 3.30pm local kick-off and a thunderstorm midway through, the Malaysians were deserved winners.

“Maybe that didn’t suit the Australians either,” added Maloney.

For a former Socceroo and proud Aussie, it wasn’t a great feeling for Maloney, but one he’ll take.

“It feels a bit surreal but that’s football," said the former Perth Glory midfielder. "You can only do your best against the teams put in front of you.

“It just so happened to be my home country.

“But I’m very proud of the players who performed for Malaysia today.

“And they really deserved a good result.”

It means Malaysia remain in the hunt for a spot in the semi finals ahead of their clash with Thailand in two days in the last group game.

Thailand faces Vietnam tonight (Tuesday) in another game in Group B.

Maloney only took over the job of Malaysia U18s a few weeks before the tournament, and had limited time with his players.