Group H: Lao Toyota FC 0-3 PSM Makassar
Vientiane: Group H winners PSM Makassar completed an unbeaten AFC Group H campaign with a 3-0 win over eliminated Lao Toyota at Laos' National Stadium on Tuesday.
Rasyid Bakri celebrated his first start in the tournament with the game's opening goal on the stroke of half-time, before Saldi and Guy Junior added two more after the interval to give Darije Kalezic's side a handsome group stage total of 14 points from six matches.
The Indonesian outfit now march on to the ASEAN Zonal semi-finals, while the competition ends for Lao Toyota, who had been consigned to last place in the group prior to Tuesday's final day of matches.
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PSM Makassar had scored seven of the 10 goals produced by the two sides in their previous meeting on Matchday Two, but this was a far tighter affair in the early stages, with clear cut chances few and far between in the opening 45 minutes.
The game quickly settled into a rhythm of PSM Makassar retaining the bulk of possession and Lao Toyota threatening sporadically on the counter attack, with a deflected 25-yard effort from the busy Saldi perhaps the most threatening attempt of the opening half-hour.
A mazy run from Bayu Gatra produced a highlight, but not a shot at goal, late in the half, before another involvement from the PSM Makassar wide man moments later produced the game's first goal, with Bakri poking his low cross into the net from close range after Ketsada Souksavanh missed a chance to clear the danger two minutes before the interval.
With their last chance at an AFC Cup win slipping away, the Laotian side became more proactive after the break, and Brazilian forward Rafael produced arguably their brightest moment at the hour mark, when he sent a searing effort just inches over the cross bar from 30 yards.
But the group winners swiftly regained control, with skipper Marc Klok stinging Outthilath Nammakhoth's palms with a free-kick, before Saldi's low shot beat the Lao Toyota goalkeeper to finish off a crisp counter-attack and make it 2-0 to PSM Makassar in the 74th minute.
Guy Junior put an exclamation mark on PSM Makassar's win by blasting home a third in the 86th minute, with the influential Saldi again playing his part by providing a fine assist as the Sulawesi-based side cruised into the knockout stage.
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