Analysis: PSM Makassar pull off stunning come-back to qualify for knockout stage
Bogor: Both teams knew a win here would put them in firm control of their own destiny with regards to progression to the knockout stage of the 2019 AFC Cup, and while Home United may have thought the points were as good as theirs when 2-0 ahead, PSM Makassar had other ideas.
The hosts refused to lose hope after conceding twice in four second half minutes, hassling and harrying last year’s ASEAN Zonal champions before executing a sensational comeback with some lethal finishing.
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Shoot-on-sight policy pays dividends for Makassar
Both teams had the same number of attempts at goal in this contest (14), but Makassar were more effective with theirs, landing 42.9 percent on target as opposed to Home’s 28.6 percent.
This amounted to six efforts on target for the hosts, half of which found the back of the net. One of these was Marc Klok’s penalty on the hour mark, but the other five remarkably all came from outside the area – from where Makassar took nine shots in total.
This willingness to strike early certainly paid dividends, with Klok and Guy Junior capping a remarkable comeback with two superb goals that left Home goalkeeper Nazri Sabri helpless.
Makassar not afraid to mix things up
There were periods of this game when Home showed their quality and forced Makassar on the defensive, but the hosts persevered well and adopted a no-nonsense approach to easing the pressure, making 21 clearances over the 90 minutes.
They weren’t afraid to stem the flow with robust challenges either, making 21 tackles to Home’s 14 and committing 19 fouls – mostly out wide with the aim of stopping Home gaining ground down the wings.
Marc Klok and Guy Junior ultimately swung the game in Makassar’s favour with the goals, but they also contributed when it came to disrupting Home’s flow as well, making four fouls apiece.
No way out with no Nor
Hafiz Nor was a constant menace for Home in his 73 minutes on the pitch, barely setting foot in his own half and always an option for the visitors on the break.
The 30-year-old took five of Home’s 14 shots at goal, landing three of them on target and finding the net twice with two superbly taken goals inside four minutes at the start of the second half to seemingly put the visitors in charge of the game.
Makassar found a foothold with Marc Klok’s penalty on the hour mark, however, and after Nor was stretchered off in the 73rd minute Home lacked an outlet going forward as the three points slipped away from them.
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