Indonesia captain Evan Dimas (left) wheeling away in delight after scoring the second goal in his side's 2-0 win over the Philippines. Photo: Andrew Ho/ SINGSOC
Confident, controlled and, ultimately, comfortable.
Indonesia rarely had to get out of first gear on Tuesday evening, as they eased to a 2-0 win over the Philippines at the Jalan Besar Stadium that sets up a grandstand finish to Group A.
“It was a good performance but we’ll need to see more from them in the next game,” said Indonesia assistant coach Mustaqem, whose side can now look forward to a winner-take-all clash against 28th SEA Games hosts Singapore on Thursday.
Going into the game as odds-on favourites against the already-eliminated Filipinos, Indonesia took just four minutes to get off the mark through captain Evan Dimas, who latched onto Vava Mario Yagola’s pass before slotting the ball past Florencio Badelic Jr.
It was 2-0 just nine minutes later; this time, it was Paulo Oktavianus laying it on a plate for Evan to sidefoot home after impressive work down the left flank.
“Our backline was exposed due to immaturity and a lack of international exposure,” lamented Philippines coach Marlon Maro, whose side bow out of the competition with zero points from four outings.
With the points in the bag, Indonesia were able to take their foot of the pedal; withdrawing key attackers Evan, Adam Alis Setyano and Ahmad Nufiandani in the second half as they turned their attention to Thursday’s clash against Singapore.
“That was one of the reasons (for the changes),” confirmed Mustaqem, whose side need only a draw to pip the hosts to a semi-final berth on goal difference.
“We wanted to keep our players fresh, so that we can have our best XI going for three points against Singapore.”
Phoutthasay Khochalern took the lead for Laos early in the second half. Photo: Steven Goh/SINGSOC
Laos scores narrow victory with a 3-2 score against Timor-Leste.
An evenly-match first half unfolds as Timor-Leste attempted 11 shots while Laos had nine. The two teams tied at half time with 1-1.
Timor-Leste initiated a goal in the 21st minute when Frangcyatma tapped in at the six yard box from a square pass by Henrique Wilson Da Cruz Martins.
Bounthavy Sipasong equalises for Laos 5 minutes later with a screamer at his second touch from outside the penalty box.
The second half started in favour for Laos as Phoutthasay Khochalern finished in the 46th minute from a low cross to make it 2-1 for Laos.
Khonesavanh Sihavong topped it up with the third goal for Laos in the 66th minute after he found space for a strike in the box.
While it appeared like Laos had secured 3 points with their 3-1 lead in the final 10 minutes, Timor-Leste took advantage of the seemingly relaxed defence and mounted on simultaneous attacks. Frangcyatma had a one-on-one chance in the 87th minute, followed by hitting the left and right pole with two consecutive strikes two minutes later.
Their efforts were finally rewarded when Henrique Wilson hit one back in a 3-on-2 situation in the 90th minute.
A total of 7 yellow cards were flashed to Timor-Leste and Laos in the physical Group B match. Photo: Gabriel Tang/SINGSOC
Tensions arose in the final moments when Timor-Leste held on to a glimmer of hope. Contacts got physical and time past conveniently for the leading Laos players when fouls were called by referee.
Laos held on and clinched their 3 points when the final whistle blew to end the game with a 3-2 score line. Although they are out of contention for qualifying the semi-finals, Laos stands a chance to finish third in Group B table as they now score the same 6-points as Malaysia, whom they will face in their next and last game on June 11, Thursday.
Timor-Leste ended their football tournament with three points, standing above Brunei in fifth out of six placing in Group B.
Bishan Stadium features sold-out match in the clash of the title contenders, Vietnam and Thailand, on June 10, Wednesday.
This author of this article is a volunteer content producer with Team Nila. For more content produced by Team Nila, please head to the 28th SEA Games Social Wall.