Indonesia came back from a goal down to beat Thailand 2-1 in an action-packed AFF Suzuki Cup first-leg final at a capacity Pakansari Stadium in Bogor on Wednesday night. The AFF Championship (ASEAN Football Championship), is a biennial international association football competition organised by the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF), contested by the national teams of Southeast Asia. The group stages of the championships were held for the first time at Myanmar and the Philippines from 19–26 November 2016

Indonesia’s Hansamu Yama (second right) tries to score a header goal during the first leg match of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 final against Thailand at the Pakansari stadium in West Java on Wednesday. Indonesia beat Thailand 2 -1. (JP/Seto Wardhana.)

The Merah Putih stunned the defending champions with two goals in five second-half minutes after the Thais led 1-0 at half-time.

The slim advantage gives Alfred Riedl’s men some breathing space ahead of the return leg in Bangkok on Saturday, but the Austrian will be satisfied, having seen his side snatch victory to upset the tournament favourites. Thailand coach Kiatisuk Senamuang restored a full-strength lineup from the side who thrashed Myanmar 4-0 in the second-leg semifinal on Dec. 8. aff-sKroekrit Thawikan and Koravit Namwiset were brought in for defensive steel, while Chanathip Songkrasin and Teerasil Dangda were tasked to fashion an away goal.

It almost came as early as the seventh minute when Ricky Pora hit an abysmal backpass that was snatched by Tristan Do.

The wing back, however, dragged his shot wide, with only goalkeeper Kurnia Hermansyah to beat. But that chance spelled the beginning of Thai domination, who outclassed their opponents with their precise, “tik-tok” possession football. Sarawut Masuk was next to have a crack at goal, but fluffed a half volley just wide in the 14th minute.

After being behind 0-1 in the first half, Indonesia eventually beat Thailand 2-1 in the first leg match of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup at the Pakansari stadium in Bogor, West Java on Wednesday.

In the second half, Indonesia seemed to gain confidence, probing Thailand’s defense several times. Rizky Pora finally equalized in the 65th minute with a kick from outside the penalty box into the left side of the goal past goal keeper Kawin Thamsatchanan.

That only added to the spirit of the Red-and-White team, with the decisive goal following a corner kick as Hansamu Yama headed the ball past Thamsachanan in the 70th minute.

Indonesia held onto the 2-1 lead until referee Lida Jumpei of Japan blew his whistle after 4 minutes of additional time. Lerby Eliandry missed the chance to add a third in injury time, but the Indonesians still ended the contest as deserved winners. However, Thailand will still be favourites to turn the tie in their favour in Saturday’s second leg at Rajamangala Stadium.




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