Indonesia 3-2 Vietnam

Indonesia 3-2 Vietnam

Indonesia will be into Tuesday’s final after a thrilling encounter with Vietnam on Saturday afternoon. This semi final had everything; goals, drama, missed opportunities and a last gasp-winner

Vietnam are a regional powerhouse were one of the favorites to take home gold. Indonesia have been growing rapidly over the past few years and their football both at club and national team level is the envy of many. The Olympic stadium is reminiscent of a Colosseum from ancient times with fans more likely to be screaming for blood then goals. The running track surrounding the field means you’re more often than not too far away from the action but on a day like today, or with an access all areas media pass, it doesn’t affect the fan experience.

Opening Exchanges Were Heated… .

The game began with both teams wanting to lay down an early marker. It was Indonesia that managed to do so with a bullet header from 8 yards. The long throw was a weapon utilized to devastating effect by Tony Pulis and Rory Delap back in the day to dismantle Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal. It was Indonesia using it this time round. Arhan, who would have a major impact on the game, sent over a long throw and Komang ghosted in the box unmarked and powered a header home. The Vietnamese defenders all looking at each other in bemusement whilst the Indonesian fans danced in jubilation.

On the 20 minute minute mark tempers boiled over and a full 22 man brawl erupted. It was a hard tackle from Arhan, which back in the day would’ve been cheered by fans wanting more, and it earned him a yellow card which would later come back to haunt him. Nguyen Van Tung has been superb all tournament on 6 minutes before halftime he was there again looping a header over the Indonesian keeper who was caught in no man’s land coming for the ball. Going on at half time 1-1 it was Vietnam who would be happiest.

To Be Successful You Need Everything To Align..

It was going to be a pulsating opening 15 minutes to a second half that wouldn’t let anyone rest.

Indonesia came out with purpose and just 8 minutes into the second half took the lead through Ferrari. Seven minutes later a turning point! Inside the stadium it looked harsh as Arhan was given a second yellow card for a trip on the Vietnamese winger. It was superb attacking play and Arhan seemed unable to get out the way more than intentionally trip, however the card came out and Indonesia were reduced to ten men with over 30 minutes to go. It seemed the stars were beginning to align for Vietnam; the second yellow was harsh, Indonesia were tiring and with 10 minutes left on the clock they equalized with an own goal from Kaffa. The smile on the bench of the Vietnamese coaches told the story. They’ve ridden their luck today but the football gods were on their side.

Rahman Is A Little Genius…

Down to ten men Indonesia had no choice other than to stay solid and hit Vietnam on the counter. The lynch pin of this was Rahman. When Indonesia won the ball they hit Rahman and he broke the lines and got the counter into advanced areas. It was 6 minutes into stoppage time, Vietnam had broken quickly but a misplaced pass deflected high into the air, the touch was exquisite, not only controlling the ball but turning two midfielders inside out. Rahman broke with pace 3v4 turned into 4v5 in the attacking third as Rahman released the ball vietnamese defenders were getting into shape. The Indo center forward dummied a shot then set the ball back to Rahman who with amazing awareness took a touch. Most in this moment would’ve played a return pass out of instinct, Rahman didn’t. With that touch the Vietnamese defenders backed off giving him just enough space to hit a shot into the far corner. It was as dramatic a goal you could ever hope to see but Rahman had nothing left and fell to the floor only to be mobbed by his fellow teammates. On the TV cameras you can hear the the tired screams of the Indonesian players. They had pulled off a miracle albeit a thoroughly deserved one.

It’s Going To Be Indonesia… .

In Phnom Penh we’re experiencing something new for our nation. The games has brought athletes from all over the region and fans from all over the world. The city is buzzing. I’ve been in hotels and around stadiums mixing with all every football team in the competition. All of them have been open, friendly and more than happy to enjoy the limelight and idol status the games can bring. The Indonesian team, whom I met whilst waiting to go into the Svay Rieng press conference, were focused. I’ve learned over the years to read body language extremely well and I couldn’t tell you if the Indonesian team were friendly, open or enjoying the limelight. What I can tell you it’s they meant business. They’re not here to bask in anyone’s limelight, they’re here for one thing only and that’s a gold medal.

This article is adapted from BPVE, ( reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review. (
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