PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has qualified for their second straight final in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Under-19 Championships after beating Indonesia 4-3 in extra time at the Binh Duong Stadium in Vietnam on Saturday (Aug 17).
Harith Haiqal turned hero twice as he scored the equaliser to bring the game into extra time, and then scored the winning goal to help the Young Tigers maul the Young Garudas.
Malaysia drew first blood in the 18th minute when Mukhairi Ajmal’s knuckleball freekick was deflected off the Indonesian wall, and Aimann Afif Md Afizul was quick to pounce on the loose ball to beat goalkeeper Emando Ari Sutaryadi.
Indonesia’s fought back in the 44th minute when Beckham Putra Nugraha was the beneficiary of a beautiful cutback from Mohammad Supriadi.
He made sure he escaped the attention of Mukhairi by thumping the ball past Sikh Izhan.
In the second half, striking sensation Luqman Hakim gave Malaysia the lead again in the 55th minute when he beat Emando with a thumping right-footed shot from outside the box.
However, the lead was short-lived as captain David Maulana released Fajar Fathur Rachman with a brilliant through-pass, and the latter took advantage of a suspect defence by dinking the ball over an onrushing Sikh Izhan to give Indonesia the equaliser.
A minute later, Indonesia got the lead when a breathtaking counter-attack saw Salman Alfarid scoring the third goal.
It was end-to-end stuff in the second half as Malaysia got a penalty in the 83rd minute and midfielder Harith buried from the spot to bring the game into extra-time.
Malaysia, capitalising on Indonesia’s weariness, charged into the lead in the 96th minute through Harith, who accurately read Mukhairi’s freekick into the far post and planted a header from an acute angle to beat Emando.
Indonesia tried thier best to get an equaliser, but Malaysia’s defence stayed strong and will now either face Myanmar or Australia on Monday.
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