Jakarta: Mohamadou Sumareh struck deep into added time as Malaysia edged Indonesia 3-2 in their FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers Group G tie at a pulsating Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Thursday.
In an ASEAN derby which saw Indonesia lead twice, Malaysia came to life in the second half and their determination paid off with Sumareh scoring in the sixth minute of added time.
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Both sides began aggressively with Indonesia having the first glimpse on goal in the third minute.
A lobbed pass from the right flank found Stefano Lilipaly behind the Malaysian defence, but his cross into the box was intercepted by custodian Farizal Marlias before Alberto Goncalves could connect.
Simon McMenemy’s Indonesia, however, were not to be denied and Saddil Ramdani's hard work saw him releasing a perfect through pass behind the Malaysian backline which saw Goncalves tapping home.
The visitors slowly grew into the match and began testing Indonesian ‘keeper Andritany Ardhiyasa, and came close to finding the equaliser when they were awarded a free-kick 30 yards out, but Safawi Rasid’s shot missed by inches in the 31st minute.
Six minutes later, Malaysia head Tan Cheng Hoe called Sumareh off the bench, and the Gambian-born Malaysian displayed his prowess less than 30 seconds later, as he surged past the Indonesian defence and slipped the ball past Ardhiyasa to make it 1-1.
The Indonesian fans, however, were back on their feet just two minutes later with Goncalves restoring their lead with a superb strike from outside the box into the top left corner of the net, courtesy of Andik Vermansah’s pass.
Indonesia gave the Malaysians a scare just moments into the restart when Lilipaly sidestepped defender Adam Nor Azlin twice but his effort whiffed past the upright.
Malaysia kept pressing and on the hour mark, Syafiq Ahmad was denied from close range, but the 24-year-old forward was not to be denied six minutes later.
The action began with Rasid’s corner kick that was deflected back to him, and his second cross was met by Ahmad, who rose highest to head the ball in.
As Indonesia tired, Malaysia pressed forward and the hosts got off lightly when substitute Syamer Kutty pressured Ardhiyasa in the 85th minute, but the ‘keeper was quick to avert the danger.
Malaysia should have scored two minutes into added time when a counter-attack saw Sumareh setting up Corbin Ong but his strike missed the mark.
Malaysia began throwing bodies up front and their efforts paid dividends just seconds before the final whistle as Sumareh steered Matthew Davies’ low cross home.
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