MD6 - Group G: Malaysia 2-0 Indonesia
Kuala Lumpur: Muhammad Safawi Rasid was the hero with a brace as Malaysia defeated Indonesia 2-0 in their Asian Qualifiers Group G tie at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Tuesday.
Safawi scored two brilliant goals as Malaysia moved to second in the standings behind Vietnam, with their dream of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 still very much alive.
For Indonesia, it was their fifth consecutive defeat with their hopes all but dashed with three matches remaining.
See also :
Indonesia had the better start with Febri Hariyadi and Teuku Muhammad Ichsan both firing long-range efforts over the bar inside the first 10 minutes.
Tan Cheng Hoe’s charges responded through Corbin Ong Lawrence’s close-range header in the 11th minute but Indonesia custodian Muhammad Ridho was quick to block his effort.
Indonesia then came close in the 19th minute but Malaysia goalkeeper Khairulazhan Mohd Khalid did well to deflect Hariyadi’s effort following Greg Nwokolo’s through pass.
The custodian, however, was injured in the process and had to be replaced by Farizal Marlias.
Malaysia continued to apply pressure and took the lead in the 30th minute through a spectacular Safawi free-kick, with the player curling his effort over the Indonesian defence and into the net from 30 yards.
Indonesia should have equalised in the 36th minute but Rudolof Yanto Basna and Nwokolo both saw their efforts blocked in a goalmouth scramble.
Malaysia came close to adding their second goal in the 63rd minute when Mohamadou Sumareh did well on the left flank before his cutback found substitute Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, who set-up Mohamed Syamer Kutty nicely but the midfielder sent his effort over the bar.
After a period of pressure from Indonesia, Safawi's determination saw Malaysia doubling their lead in the 72nd minute after the forward dispossessed Basna at the edge of the area before blasting his effort into the roof of the net from an acute angle.
Indonesia were given a lifeline in the 81st minute when they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Hariyadi by Farizal but the goalkeeper made amends when he dived to his right to deny substitute Osas Marvellous Ikpefua’s spot-kick.
Malaysia had several chances after that to widen their lead but they won't mind not putting those opportunities away as they now wait to take on UAE on March 26. Indonesia will meet Thailand on the same day.
Recommended Stories :