Indonesia shock Thailand to earn first leg advantage
Indonesia vs. Thailand
Final Score: Indonesia 2-1 Thailand (HT: 0-1)
Stadion Pakansari, Bogor, Indonesia
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Indonesia will take a 2-1 advantage into the second leg of the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup Final after a whirlwind comeback against reigning champions Thailand at Stadion Pakansari in Bogor on Wednesday night.
Teerasil Dangda gave the visitors a first-half lead but the Garudas came storming back with goals from Rizki Pora and Hansamu Pranata to stun Kiatisuk Senamuang and his all-conquering War Elephants.
Alfred Riedl’s only concern going into the second leg will be the injury to star man Andik Vermansyah, who was taken off in the first half after clashing with Kroekit Thawikan.
32’ (0-1) Despite Indonesia matching them like for like in the opening half hour, all the Thais needed was a moment of magic when Theerathon Bunmathan put in a pinpoint cross to allow Teerasil a header for the opening goal.
65’ (1-1) Theerathon’s misplaced pass gifted the ball to Rizki Pora who strode forward and sent a rasping shot past a hapless Kawin Thamsatchanan to level the scores.
70’ (2-1) It was the same combination off a corner to the back-post where Hansamu rose above everyone else to head a looping header past a bewildered Kawin.
Zico learns from his mistakes –
Even before a ball is kicked, Thailand head coach Kiatisuk Senamuang pulled off a huge surprise when he dropped Tanaboon Kesarat and went with a flat back-four to combat Indonesia’s pace and trickery down the wings. Alfred Riedl’s men are the only team to have breached the Thai defence in this tournament.
Rizki almost pays the price –
With eight minutes on the clock, Rizki Pora almost provided an assist on the wrong end when his weak backpass was intercepted by Chanathip Songkrasin who sliced it narrowly wide.
Indonesia lose star winger Andik –
Huge blow for the home team as star winger Andik Vermansyah succumbed to an early challenge from Kroekit Thawikan and was replaced in the 19th minute by Zulham Zamrun.
Close to a second for Thailand –
Some good work down the right in the 40th minute between Tristan Do and Sarawut Masuk gave Chanathip a shooting opportunity but Kurnia Meiga showed a pair of safe hands to keep it at 1-0.
No one home for the Garudas -
A speculative lob from Boas Salossa found substitute Zulham who had acres of space but no one to support him in the box. He did well to win a corner that was closed out in disappointing fashion for the home fans.
No change in pattern of play –
Indonesia came out for the second half unable to take the game to the visitors. Thailand still had most of the possession and were looking too comfortable for Riedl’s liking.
Thailand fail to capitalise –
Theerathon played Teerasil in on 61 minutes but the Muangthong United forward left it for Sarawut who struck a tame effort that Meiga pushed out for a corner.
War Elephants dazed and frazzled –
It was not how the script was supposed to go. Having taken a first-half lead, Thailand could not recover once Indonesia turned the tables and took a 2-1 advantage. Zico is looking like a worried man for the first time in this competition.
Kawin to the rescue -
The giant stopper kept his team's hopes of claiming the title alive when he pulled off a double save in the dying seconds to deny Indonesia for a third goal.
Pakansari crowd in full voice -
They know they witnessed one of Indonesia's greatest comebacks in football and they rewarded the players by belting out the national anthem. Will this be the Garudas' year?