Thursday, December 30, 2010

AFF Suzuki Cup Final : Malaysia vs Indonesia - Second Leg

Malaysia put up strong show to lift AFF title for the first time
by ERIC SAMUEL reports from JAKARTA

AFF Logo

MALAYSIA dished out yet another strong performance and were crowned champions of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) championship at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta last night.

They were beaten 1-2 by Indonesia in the second-leg final match but a 3-0 victory in the first-leg encounter at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday proved to be enough for them, claiming the Suzuki Cup 4-2 on aggregate.

It was the first time Malaysia won the AFF championship title since the biennial tournament was introduced in 1996.

Malaysia played against a desperate Indonesia last night in front of 95,000 spectators.

And they made it more difficult for Indonesia to save the tie with a specatacular goal by Mohd Safee Sali in the 53rd minute. Safee, who scored a brace in the first leg, took his tally five goals and won the Golden Boot.

Muhammad Nasuha equalised in the 71st minute and Malaysian centreback Mohd Muslim Ahmad nodded in an own goal to give Indonesia victory on the night.

The young Malaysian side kept their composure and showed great determination to emerge as the champions.

Indonesia were without their inspirational flanker Okto Maniani, who was out on suspension, while striker Yongky Ari Bowo was not in the starting list due to injury.

Their replacements were Arif Suyono and Irfan Bachdim.

As expected, Indonesia, who had beaten Malaysia 5-1 in the opening Group A match at the same venue, came charging from the first whistle. But the Malaysian defence, marshalled by Mohd Muslim Ahmad and Mohd Fadhli Shas, did well to keep a tight leash on the two Indonesian dangermen Christian Gonzales and Irfan Bachdim.

Indonesia won a penalty when Mohd Sabree Abu handled the ball in the 15th minute. But much to their disappointment, skipper Firman Utina’s tame shot was easily saved goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat.

The Indonesians, desperate for an early goal, kept on pressing but Khairul stood out, warding off at least five attempts from them before the teams went for the break.

Malaysia looked dangerous on the counter attack. Against the run of play Mohd Ashaari Shamsuddin sent a long through ball for Safee to chase and the Selangor hitman finished off clinically put Malaysia in front in the 54th minute.

Indonesia now needed five goals to beat Malaysia and they had to take desperate measures and introduced their aging star, Bambang Pamungkas, for Irfan Bachdim at the hour mark.

Despite a goal down, Indonesia never gave up and their persistence paid off when defender Mohd Nasuha hit home the rebound off a save by goalkeeper Khairul in the 72nd minute.

Then with the clock ticking away, Mohd Muslim handed them a goal off a goalmouth melee in the 87th minute.

Later Wednesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak declared Friday, Dec 31, a public holiday in recognition of our team's AFF-Suzuki Cup triumph


The Line-up
Malaysia line-up in their "lucky" blue jersey for 2nd leg.

Ashari Samsudin challenges Indonesia's Mohammad Ridwan
Malaysia's Mohamad Ashari Samsudin challenges Indonesia's Mohammad Ridwan during their AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 final second leg match at the Gelora Bung Karno stadium, Wednesday.- GLENN GUAN/The Star (Jakarta)

S.Kunalan challenges Nasuha
Malaysia's S. Kunalan challenges Indonesia's Mohammad Nasuha for the ball during the AFF Suzuki Cup final, second leg match at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, December 29, 2010. GLENN GUAN/The Star

Police trucks enter the stadium
Police trucks enter the Gelora Bung Karno stadium before the start of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 final, second leg match in Jakarta, Indonesia, Wednesday.-GLENN GUAN/The Star

The Malaysian team celebrating
We are the champions: The Malaysian team celebrating with their trophy after winning the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 final at the Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta Wednesday night. — GLENN GUAN/The Star

Stats And Scoreboard. Please Click Here




Source
The Star Online
AFF Suzuki Cup Official Websites
Youtube

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