SURABAYA (11 Aug 2018) – Goalkeeper Ernando Ari Sutaryadi was the hero for Indonesia where his two saves in the penalty shootout gave the hosts a 4-3 win for them to lift the AFF Under-16 Championship crown for the first time ever in their history.
The score at the end of regulation was 1-1.
With so much at stake, the final was not exactly and explosive free flowing affair with both teams largely playing it safe and were not taking any risks.
As a result, the game became patchy and only erupted to entertain the full house crowd at the Delta Sidoarjo Stadium when goals were scored.
Mochammad Supriadi was the first test Thai keeper Anuchid Taweesri early in the encounter with the prolific Amiruddin Bagus Kahfi Alfikri’s first real chance coming off the upright.
As Anuchid made a string of saves, he could not deny Indonesia the lead on 33 minutes when a miscommunication with his defenders allowed substitute Muhammad Fajar Fathur Rachman to sneak in to latch on to the cross from Andre Oktaviansyah.
Thailand kept their cool as they passed the ball around into much of the second half as Indonesia seek to protect their lead.
Anuchid continued to deny Indonesia but in the 72nd minute, the stadium fell almost silent when the Thais grabbed the equaliser off Apidet Janngam who fired in the from the far post following a low cross from Punnawat Chote-Jirachalton.
Both teams tried to steal to a late winner but the penalty shootout beckons as Indonesia completed all their attempts through Sutan Diego Zico, Bagus, Rendy Juliansyah and David Maulana.
Thailand managed three goals off Thanarin Thumsen, Anucha Sodsri and Kittiphong Khetpara while attempts from Apidet and Pongsakorn Innet were saved.
In the meantime, a late goal from substitute Alif Daniel Abdul Aziz gave Malaysia a hard fought 1-0 win over Myanmar in the classification match played earlier.
The win has at least given the Malaysian team some measure of solace after failing to make the final this year.
“We played better than we did in the last match. We attacked and defended as a team. We were more compact,” said Malaysian head coach Raja Azlan Shah.
“Finishing third is good but I was more concerned with the performance and I think that the players have improved a lot through this tournament.”
With motivation not what it should be as it was a classification match, still both teams put up some decent attacking manoeuvres to entertain the several thousand fans who had started to throng the arena.
While Myanmar created the first few chances off Zaw Win Thein, the Malaysians only came alive after the break with a double from Muhammad Syukur Fariz Januri.
Two minutes to the end, a cross from Megat Syafique Syazwan Mohd Khairul from the right was latched on by Alif, whose weak grounder caught Myanmar keeper Nay Lin Htet off guard as the ball bounced off the upright and into goal.
“The keeper was out of position. Our team is a little inexperienced. We are trying to build a team and we have started programmes for the youth,” added Myanmar head coach Nyi Nyi Latt afterwards.
11 Aug 2018
FINAL: Thailand 1 (3) Indonesia 1 (4)
THIRD/FOURTH PLACING: Malaysia 1 Myanmar 0