Football: Pulsating draw puts Indonesia into final

The Indonesian players celebrating after the final whistle. It took an extra-time penalty to equalise at 2-2 to put them through to the AFF Cup final 4-3 on aggregate.
The Indonesian players celebrating after the final whistle. It took an extra-time penalty to equalise at 2-2 to put them through to the AFF Cup final 4-3 on aggregate. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE,

Underdogs put an end to Vietnam's string of wins, equalising with penalty in extra time

AFF CUP S-FINALS, 2ND LEG


Vietnam 2

Indonesia 2
(Indonesia win 4-3 on aggregate)

HANOI • It did not matter that Indonesia scraped through their group stage with only four points, conceding more goals than they scored in the process.

It did not matter that Vietnam, on the contrary, had a perfect record in the group stage, winning all three of their games.

It did not matter because the result at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi last night was the only thing that counted.

Indonesia, the underdogs in the first of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup semi-finals, are through to the final after a thrilling 2-2 second-leg draw with 10-man Vietnam after extra-time.

The Indonesians go through 4-3 on aggregate after their 2-1 home win in the first leg.

After a goal-less first half, Indonesia opened the scoring Stefano Lilipaly in the 54th minute.

Boaz Solossa's ball into the box was fumbled by the defence and Lilipaly easily toed it over the line from point-blank range.

Vietnamese goalkeeper Nguyen Manh Tran was then sent-off in the 77th minute for kicking out at Solossa and with no substitutions left, defender Que Ngoc Hai was made to stand in as 'keeper.

Despite being a man down, Vu Van Thanh equalised for Vietnam six minutes later after a short free-kick found the winger, who fired a low ball through the crowd of Indonesian players to score.

Deep into stoppage time, in the 94th minute, Vu Minh Tuan scored Vietnam's second goal which took the match to extra time.

The two goals scored in the space of 11 minutes brought the home fans to life but it was not long before they were silenced again.

Hai was lucky not to be sent-off after he conceded a penalty and Manahati Lestusen duly converted the spot kick in the 97th minute to tie the match at 2-2.

The score was enough to see Indonesia through and the win would have also brought some comfort to the country which was struck by a 6.5-magnitude earthquake in the Aceh province yesterday morning, killing at least 97 people.

Indonesia will face either Thailand or Myanmar in the two-legged final next week on Wednesday and Saturday.

The Thais will host Myanmar in the second semi-final today, going into the match with a two-goal advantage but Thailand coach Kiatisuk Senamuang has warned his side against complacency.

"Maybe Myanmar were under (extra) pressure because they were playing at home," he said of the first leg, which the War Elephants won 2-0.

"(The) Myanmar team is young, they have a future. Maybe in the next game, which they play away, it will be easier for them."


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2016, with the headline 'Pulsating draw puts Indonesia into final'. Print Edition | Subscribe