The parking bays were full, and the Azlan Shah Stadium was reverberating with deafening sounds of vuvuzalas as the fans cheered Malaysia to start on the right footing.
The prayers were answered as two late goals by veteran Chua Boon Huat, playing in his 11th Azlan Shah Cup gave them a 3-2 win.
There were some magical early moments, only for the final connect to go haywire as experienced players like Chua Boon Huat, his 11th Azlan Shah Cup, missed.
And after 12 minutes, coach Paul Revington brought in Baljit Singh to defend and Faisal Saari and to attack, together with Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, as the Koreans looked like they had settled issues with their jittrey start.
In the 18th minute, Malaysia were down to nine-men as Baljit and Mohd Razie Rahim, both defenders, were shown the green card but the Koreans could not capatalise on the situation.
Malaysia finally won their first penalty corner in the 20th minute when Shukri Mutalib was brought down by Lee Seung Hoon.
The Korean runners were focused on Razie, the No 1 flicker, but the ball was pushed towards Faisal who almost tore the netting for the first goal of the tournament.
After that Malaysia slowed the pace to disrupt the Korean style of play.
The second half was all Korea as they piled the pressure on the Malaysian defence. And they were duly rewarded in the 57th minute when Nam Hyun Woo sent his drag flick past a despairing dive of Malaysian keeper S. Kumar.
Suddenly Korea managed to weave through the Malaysian defence with relative ease and could have led had it not been the agility of Kumar who denied Hyun Hye Sung the very next minute.
Chua then struck with two goals within the space of a minute through neat finishing to give Malaysia a great start.
He first struck in the 68th minute with a deft reverse stick hit to give Malaysia a 2-1 lead only for Yon Sung Hoon to draw Korea level within a few seconds.
But Chua was not to be denied his moment of glory as his deflection from six yards out in the 69th minute gave Malaysia all three points.