Sunday, December 5, 2010

Laos 0 Indonesia 6

JAKARTA: Indonesia secured first place in Group A and a spot in the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-finals after recording their second emphatic win of the competition with a 6-0 demolition of Laos on Saturday.

Skipper Firman Utina scored twice and Muhammad Ridwan, Irfan Bachdim, Arif Suyono and Oktovianus Maniani added a goal each to send Alfred Riedl's side through to the last four with a game to spare.

The Indonesians, who trounced Malaysia 5-1 in their opening game, will now meet the runners-up from Group B in the last four with the second leg of the tie in Jakarta on Sunday, December 19

Roared on by their noisy home fans at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, the Indonesian began the match in energetic fashion and threatened to overrun the Laotian defence early on.

However, the Indochinese side stood firm in the early stages and nearly took a shock lead in the 10th minute when Kanlaya Sysomvang launched a stinging drive from 25 metres that came back off the angle of post and crossbar.

Indonesia patiently probed at the Laotian defence and their opportunity finally arrived in the 27th minute after Christian Gonzales was tripped in the box by defender Saynakhonevieng Phommapanya.

Singapore referee Daud Abbas pointed to the spot and Firman stepped up to roll the ball past goalkeeper Sengphachan Bounthisanh to make it 1-0.

Gonzales had the chance to add a second three minutes later when the ball was cut back to him from the right byline by Muhammad Ridhwan but the Uruguay-born striker was unable to get the crucial touch to turn it in.

It was only a brief reprieve though for Laos as Indonesia made it 2-0 in the 34the minute with a fine solo effort by Ridwan. The Sriwijaya player beat Khamla Pinkeo to a 50-50 ball just outside the Laos box and went past a couple of defenders and the goalkeeper before putting his effort in off defender Kitsada Thongkhen.

Indonesia's bombardment continued after the break. Sengphachan made a good save to deny Gonzales but in the 50th minute, Firman gathered in a pass on the right of the Laos box before rifling in his side's third goal.

Ridwan should have made it 4-0 on the hour when the ball was squared to him on the break by Oktovianus but he blazed over from just inside the box.

The fourth goal did arrive two minutes later after a nice lay-off by Gonzales released Irfan, who outpaced the Laotian defence before coolly sliding the ball past Sengphachan.

Arif Suyono then got on the scoresheet in the 76th minute, slamming a loose ball home from close range after Sengphachan had made a good save to deny Hamka Hamsah.

With nine minutes left, Maman Abdurachman released Oktovianus, who held off the challenge of f two defenders before stroking the ball past the helpless Sengphachan.

Source - AFF Suzuki Cup


It wasn't easy: Riedl

JAKARTA: Despite watching his side put six goals past Laos in the AFF Suzuki Cup on Saturday, Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl still suggested that the result had been anything but easy for his side.

The Indonesians toiled to break down the Laotians early on during the Group A match at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium. But after skipper Firman Utina had given the home side the lead from the penalty spot in the 27 minute, the floodgates opened.

Muhammad Ridwan made it 2-0 before the break and Firman added a second early in the second half before goals by Irfan Bachdim, Arif Suyono and Oktovianus Maniani completed the rout.

Yet Riedl admitted it could have been very different if Kanlaya Sysomvang had not hit the woodwork for Laos in the 10th minute.

"It may have looked like an easy win for us in the end but today's game was not easy. Laos hit the post early on and we had no chances in the first 20 minutes. Winning 6-0 at the end was a good result for us but in the beginning we had a lot of problems," said the Austrian, who had a spell as the head coach of Laos earlier this year.

"It was not easy for the first half-hour but after we went ahead 2-0 or 3-0 then the match became easier. Against such opposition, if you can score goals, then the match is easy but if you cannot, you can struggle.

"I am a little sorry for my friends in Laos because I made a lot friends when I was coaching there. But in football you have no friends, you only have opponents. Later on, maybe we can go for a drink."

The key thing for Riedl was that his side had secured first place and a spot in the last four before their final group match against Thailand.

"The best thing about today is that we have qualified for the semi-finals," he said. "Now we can try to give some of our other players a chance to play in our last game. But we shall see what happens over the next few days before deciding on the team."

"However, we will still play a fair match against the Thais for ourselves and the public. We will try to win the match."

Laos drew 2-2 with Thailand in their opening game but the result against Indonesia brought home the point that they still have much work to do to close the gap on the bigger sides in Southeast Asia.

Said Laos coach David Booth: "We have to try to minimise mistakes against teams like Indonesia, Thailand or Malaysia. Unfortunately tonight we conceded a penalty and then we conceded a bad second goal when we had possession and gave the ball away.

"At 2-0 at half-time, it wasn't going to be easy to come back because we're not that strong, to be fair. But we decided we weren't going to sit back and minimize the damage. We tried to get a goal back and we tried to attack but unfortunately it didn't quite work and we finished quite badly.

"If that early chance had gone in, it would have given us something to fight for. But the penalty for the first goal and then the mistake outside the box cost us badly. We can't afford to do that."

Source - AFF Suzuki Cup

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