Thursday, December 2, 2010

Indonesia 5 Malaysia 1

JAKARTA: Indonesia made a perfect start to their AFF Suzuki Cup campaign after coming from behind to trounce Malaysia 5-1 in their Group A opener at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Wednesday.

After weathering an early storm, Norshahrul Idlan fired the Tigers into a surprise lead with a breakaway goal in the 18th minute. But the hosts levelled shortly afterwards when Malaysian defender Asraruddin Putra turned Irfan Bachdim's low cross into his own net.

The hosts then took the lead with a superb finish by striker Christian Gonzales before half-time before Muhammad Ridwan, substitute Arif Suyono and Irfan completed the rout after the break.

With a fiercely partisan home crowd cheering them one, the Indonesians began the game strongly and very nearly took the lead in the second minute when Malaysia goalkeeper Sharbinee Allawee made a superb save to deny Gonzales after he had been sent clear by Firman Utina.

Having withstood the early pressure and quietened the raucous crowd a little, the Malaysians began to assert themselves with S. Kunalan shooting just wide and Norsharul seeing his close-range effort blocked.

The hosts failed to heed the warning signs and found themselves trailing after 18 minutes. An Indonesian attack broke down and the ball was launched forward to Safee Sali who cut inside a defender before feeding the ball to an unmarked Norshahrul who coolly teed the ball up before lashing it past a helpless Markus Harison.

However, Malaysia's lead would last just four minutes. On a quick break down the left flank, Irfan cut the ball back from the byline, which knicked off Sharbinee and hit the unfortunate Asraruddin on the leg before going in.

To the delight of the home fans, Gonzales then fired the Merah Putih in front in the 33rd minute, gathering a pass from Irfan on the right edge of the box and dribbling unchallenged into a central position before sliding an inch-perfect shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Safee had the ball in the back of the Indonesian net in the 40th minute but his effort was disallowed for offside.

And just before the break, Irfan launched a long-range screamer from 25 metres that flew just inches wide of the Malaysian left upright.

But a third goal would not be long in coming at the start of the second half.Muhammad Ridwan and Ahmad Bustomi played a one-two on the edge of the box in the 53rd minute and when a Malaysian defender misplayed the return pass, Ridwan stroked the ball past Sharbinee.

Markus was called into action shortly afterwards as Amri Yahyah fired in a low shot that was superbly turned aside by the Indonesian keeper.

Irfan was then denied when Shabinee turned aside his effort in the 73rd minute but Arif, just on a substitute for Ridwan, extended the lead 14 minutes from time after capitalising on an error by Asraruddin.

Irfan then capped of a superb night for the Indonesians when he turned in Oktovianus Maniani's cross in stoppage time to round off the scoring.

Source - AFF Suzuki Cup


Emphatic Indonesia win did not fairly reflect game 

JAKARTA: Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl and his Malaysian counterpart K.Rajagobal were united in the opinion that Indonesia's 5-1 win in their AFF Suzuki Cup clash on Wednesday may not have been a fair reflection on the balance of the match.

The Malaysians made things tough for the hosts for much of the Group A game at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, even taking the lead through Norshahrul Idlan after 18 minutes.

But an unlucky own goal by Malaysian defender Asraruddin Putra and a superb finish by striker Christian Gonzales turned the match in Indonesia's favour before half-time. And Muhammad Ridwan, substitute Arif Suyono and Irfan Bachdim struck after the break to secure a big win for the home side, much to the delight of their raucous and partisan following at the Gelora Bung Karno.

While delighted with the result, Riedl admitted that it may not have been a just scoreline

"Of course we are very happy that we have won the match although I think that 5-1 was too high a score," said the Austrian. "Perhaps 3-1 might have been a fairer result although we did deserve to win because we showed more power and desire during the match.

"I felt that we played our best football during the first 20 minutes of the game but we fell 1-0 behind. However, our players showed good character to come back and take the lead before half-time and get more goals in the second half, which was more up and down.

"It was a good win for us but it's just one game and it's not the end. Now it's time for us to work on our next match.

"I don't want to single out any of our players because I feel that it was a good team effort tonight."

Rajagobal was understandably disappointed with what was Malaysia's heaviest ever defeat in the AFF Suzuki Cup.

"I'm disappointed with the result because I do not think that it was a true reflection of the game," said the Malaysia coach. "I feel a bit bad for the players because I thought that we played well in packets but we made bad mistakes at crucial times.

"Our players still tried to give it a go but they were tired at the end. And as the goals started to go in for Indonesia, they just grew in confidence while our players felt frustrated."

Rajagobal included midfielder Amri Yahyah and defender Razman Roslan in his starting line-up despite the veteran pair having had little time to adapt to their teammates after receiving late call-ups. In hindsight, he admitted that it may not have been the right choice for the team.

"I could see that we didn't quite have the right balance as the game went on," he explained.

"We needed the experience of Amri and Razman and during the earlier stages they were working quite well with their teammate. But as the match went on, they faded as their legs got tired.

"But by then, it was too late to make changes to affect the game, to give some extra strength and energy to the team."


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