Indonesia defy expectations, win first leg 2-1

Indonesian and Vietnamese football players fight for the ball during the semi-final AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 in Cibinong, West Java, on Dec 3, 2016.
Indonesian and Vietnamese football players fight for the ball during the semi-final AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 in Cibinong, West Java, on Dec 3, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

BOGOR (Indonesia) • Indonesia fought hard to clinch a 2-1 victory over Vietnam in the first leg of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup semi-finals yesterday.

The Indonesians, playing at home at Stadion Pakansari in Bogor, opened the scoring after just seven minutes through Hansamu Pranata.

Nguyen Van Quyet equalised for Vietnam 10 minutes later via a penalty, given after Le Cong Vinh was brought down in the box.

Indonesia also won a penalty in the second half, which Boas Salossa converted to seal victory, leaving the Vietnamese stunned.

The result is surprising given the Indonesians scraped into the semi-finals after moving from last in their group to second following a win over Singapore, while Vietnam won all three of their matches.

Still, despite being the underdogs, Indonesia had more chances to score and managed 13 shots (six on target) to 11 (three) by the visitors.

The second leg will be played at My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi on Wednesday.

Thailand will take on Myanmar in the first leg of their semi-final at Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon today.

The return leg will be played at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok on Thursday.

Thailand coach Kiatisuk Senamuang is hoping to lead the War Elephants to an unprecedented fifth AFF championship.

"This is an important game for us. If we win the first leg, we will have an advantage and our goal is to win the match," he said.

"I am confident of a good result against Myanmar. I believe Thailand are the stronger team."

The only other team to have also won the tournament four times is Singapore.

The final of the Suzuki Cup, also played over two legs, will be staged on Dec 14 and 17.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 04, 2016, with the headline 'Indonesia defy expectations, win first leg 2-1'. Print Edition | Subscribe