Sumareh stunner


Instant impact: Mohamadou Sumareh (second from right) scoring against Indonesia in the World Cup 2022-Asia Cup 2023 second round qualifying Group G opener at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium yesterday. — HAZRIN MOHD ZAIDUN/Asiana.my

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia turned on the power in the dying seconds to silence home side Indonesia 3-2 in their World Cup 2022-Asia Cup 2023 second round qualifying Group G opener at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

Mohamadou Sumareh became the hero for Malaysia when he scored the winner in the 96th minute yesterday.

But Tan Cheng Hoe’s men got off to a sluggish start.

With the volatile home fans turning up in full force, the Malaysians seemed rattled by the atmosphere and nerves showed in the early minutes of the first half.

And it led to Malaysia conceding their first goal in the 11th minute after Indonesian winger Saddil Ramdani threaded a beautiful pass through leftback La’vere Corbin Ong and winger Hadin Azman for Beto Goncalves who put the ball through the legs of captain Farizal Marlias.

Malaysia’s approach of playing the offside trap didn’t work as Indonesia were able to initiate quick breaks with their direct runs and passes up front.

Realising the need for a change, a lacklustre Hadin was replaced by Sumareh in the 35th minute and a minute later, the Pahang winger made an instant impact as he equalised for Harimau Malaya.

The 24-year-old received a pass from midfielder Nor Azam Azih and Sumareh made an outside foot placement to beat goalkeeper Andritany Ardhiyasa.

However, all that hard work was undone when rightback Matthew Davies lost possession to Andik Vermansyah.

Andik found Beto and the striker nailed his second goal by rifling a shot past diving goalkeeper Farizal in the 38th minute.

In the second half, Malaysia started off the better side and created chances through winger Safawi Rasid in the 56th and striker Syafiq Ahmad in the 62nd minute but they weren’t clinical enough.

Syafiq, however, got his reward in the 66th minute when he received Safawi’s cross from the right and headed the ball past Andritany to draw level with Indonesia.

However, the game was halted for 10 minutes due to crowd trouble, but police stepped in and restored order.

Needing an extra body upfront, Malaysia brought in Syamer Kutty Abba but he squandered a good chance in the 80th minute.

With eight minutes added time, Malaysia should have scored the winner through La’vere but the leftback squandered his chance by placing his shot wide in the 93rd minute.

A minute later, Safawi received a pass from Syamer but his shot was way over the bar.

In the 96th minute, Sumareh received a pass from Matthew, and scored the winning goal to kick off Malaysia’s qualifying campaign in super style with three points.

World Cup 2022 , Asia Cup 2023 , qualifying

   

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