Indonesia 5 Malaysia 1

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Indonesia made a perfect start to their AFF Suzuki Cup campaign after coming from behind to trounce Malaysia 5-1 in their Group A opener at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Wednesday. 

After weathering an early storm, Norshahrul Idlan fired the Tigers into a surprise lead with a breakaway goal in the 18th minute. But the hosts levelled shortly afterwards when Malaysian defender Asraruddin Putra turned Irfan Bachdim's low cross into his own net. 

The hosts then took the lead with a superb finish by striker Christian Gonzales before half-time before Muhammad Ridwan, substitute Arif Suyono and Irfan completed the rout after the break. 

With a fiercely partisan home crowd cheering them one, the Indonesians began the game strongly and very nearly took the lead in the second minute when Malaysia goalkeeper Sharbinee Allawee made a superb save to deny Gonzales after he had been sent clear by Firman Utina. 

Having withstood the early pressure and quietened the raucous crowd a little, the Malaysians began to assert themselves with S. Kunalan shooting just wide and Norsharul seeing his close-range effort blocked. 

The hosts failed to heed the warning signs and found themselves trailing after 18 minutes. An Indonesian attack broke down and the ball was launched forward to Safee Sali who cut inside a defender before feeding the ball to an unmarked Norshahrul who coolly teed the ball up before lashing it past a helpless Markus Harison. 

However, Malaysia's lead would last just four minutes. On a quick break down the left flank, Irfan cut the ball back from the byline, which knicked off Sharbinee and hit the unfortunate Asraruddin on the leg before going in. 

To the delight of the home fans, Gonzales then fired the Merah Putih in front in the 33rd minute, gathering a pass from Irfan on the right edge of the box and dribbling unchallenged into a central position before sliding an inch-perfect shot into the bottom corner of the net. 

Safee had the ball in the back of the Indonesian net in the 40th minute but his effort was disallowed for offside. 

And just before the break, Irfan launched a long-range screamer from 25 metres that flew just inches wide of the Malaysian left upright. 

But a third goal would not be long in coming at the start of the second half.Muhammad Ridwan and Ahmad Bustomi played a one-two on the edge of the box in the 53rd minute and when a Malaysian defender misplayed the return pass, Ridwan stroked the ball past Sharbinee. 

Markus was called into action shortly afterwards as Amri Yahyah fired in a low shot that was superbly turned aside by the Indonesian keeper. 

Irfan was then denied when Shabinee turned aside his effort in the 73rd minute but Arif, just on a substitute for Ridwan, extended the lead 14 minutes from time after capitalising on an error by Asraruddin. 

Irfan then capped of a superb night for the Indonesians when he turned in Oktovianus Maniani's cross in stoppage time to round off the scoring.


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