This is for Malaysia, says Sumareh
Jakarta: Mohamadou Sumareh has dedicated his goals against Indonesia in Thursday's Asian Qualifiers tie to the Malaysia fans.
Naturalised Malaysian Sumareh made a dramatic instant impact on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Group G tie at the pulsating Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, drawing his side level at 1-1 just moments after coming on as a substitute in the 35th minute.
There was even greater drama to follow as the Gambian-born Sumareh then scored the goal that gave Malaysia a 3-2 win deep into stoppage time to spark wild celebrations.
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"Yes, I am, of course, happy to have scored a brace. My winning goal is a gift to all Malaysians," said the Gambian-born Sumareh to Malaysian media.
"It was a great feeling to score the first goal just seconds after coming on. I was at the right place at the right time to receive the ball and score.
"As for the second goal, the ball from Matthew Davies came in and I was there to drive it home," said Sumareh.
The winning goal brought to an end a match that had everything, with Indonesia having taken the lead through Alberto Goncalves in the 11th minute only for Sumareh to cancel it out following his dramatic entry.
Goncalves, however, scored a stunner from long range almost immediately after to restore Indonesia's lead.
Malaysia, however, refused to give up and Syafig Ahmad headed home from close range in the 65th and Sumareh scored the winner six minutes into added time.
"The victory is a team effort. We worked so hard to achieve this," said Sumareh, who took his haul for Malaysia to six goals.
Up next for Malaysia are the United Arab Emirates and the Southeast Asians know it will be a tough challenge even though they will be playing at home.
The last time the two met in Asian Qualifying for the FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup was in 2015, with the UAE inflicting a 10-0 defeat on the Southeast Asians.
Indonesia too face a challenge as they will host Thailand in what is now a must-win game for Simon McMenemy's team.
McMenemy admitted that Indonesia were struggling to keep up with Malaysia in the final 20 minutes of the match.
"The players were focused on playing for a draw as they tired but a mistake right at the end cost us the points. Credit, however, must be paid to Malaysia for their win," said McMenemy to local media.
Photos: Football Association of Indonesia
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