Football

Published: Thursday December 19, 2013 MYT 8:50:00 PM
Updated: Thursday December 19, 2013 MYT 11:24:38 PM

Malaysia fall to Indonesia in SEA Games football

A. Thamil Arasu (left) in a file photo. He was a hero after scoring the late equaliser for Malaysia, only to go on and miss his penalty in the semi-final match against Indonesia on Dec 19, 2013.

A. Thamil Arasu (left) in a file photo. He was a hero after scoring the late equaliser for Malaysia, only to go on and miss his penalty in the semi-final match against Indonesia on Dec 19, 2013.

NAYPYITAW: Indonesia exacted sweet revenge in the men’s football competition when they edged Malaysia 4-3 on penalties after both teams were tied 1-1 at the end of extra-time in the SEA Games semi-finals at the Zeyar Thiri Stadium.

Two years ago, Malaysia had spoilt the party for Indonesia when they defeated the hosts by the same score (aet 1-1, 4-3 on penalties) in the final at the Jakarta SEA Games.

Indonesian goalkeeper Kurnia Meiga was the hero when he saved the opening two shots by A. Thamil Arasu and Syamsol Saad. The other penalty takers who scored were Mohd Nazmi Faiz, Mohd Fadhli Shas and Rozaimi Abdul Rahman.

The Indonesians scored through Alfin Ismail, M. Diego, Yandi Sofyan and Ferinando Pahabol while 
Manahati Lestusen ballooned his shot.

In the game, Indonesia led through Bayu Gatra’s goal in the 31s minute before Thamil rescued Malaysia with a late equaliser six minutes from time.

Malaysia dished out a lethargic performance with barely any real goal-scoring attempts except for centreback Mohd Fadhli Shas squandering a sitter from point blank range in stoppage time of the first-half.

Indonesia sounded the early warning taking control of the game in midfield and came close with the opening goal after striker Adi Soffian rocked the woodwork with a thunderous shot taken from outside the box in the 25th minute.

Bayu Gatra punished the Malaysian defence from a neat set-piece scoring the opening goal in the 31st minute.

Desperate Malaysian coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee, in his bid to find the equaliser, sent in two additional strikers Rozaimi Abdul Rahman and Izzaq Faris Ramlan in the second-half.

Thamil scored a late equaliser after he connected substitute Mohd Nazmi Faiz’s corner-kick six minutes from time.

Kim Swee accepted responsibility for the defeat, saying that both teams played well but Indonesia were luckier in the shootout.

The former international added that losing seven players before the SEA Games and winger Ashri Chuchu’s failure to shrug off his injury before the match disrupted his game plan.

“The changing room looked like a funeral home as the players are heartbroken,” said Kim Swee in the post-match press conference. 

“Nobody should be blamed for the defeat, especially not the players ... they did well until the penalty shootout.

“Both teams share an intense rivalry and played very well. We were without seven key players in the team and Indonesia are a good side. They beat Myanmar to advance to the semi-final and they looked confident today.”

Indonesia Under-23 coach Rahmad Darmawan echoed Kim Swee’s thoughts on the game and admitted that his side were luckier in the shoot-out this time.

“Malaysia did well in the match by getting the equaliser but in the end we were luckier in the shootout,” he said. “Our boys played very well as a team. They never stopped running and worked really hard in this match. We will now have to focus on our recovery and be ready for the final on Saturday.”

Tags / Keywords: football, SEA Games, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Naypyitaw, Nyapidaw

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