SURABAYA (14 July 2018) – Indonesia survived a late revival from Thailand to seal a 2-1 win and claim the bronze medal in the AFF Under-19 Championship at the Gelora Delta Stadium here this evening. While it did not make up for missing the final, the victory over the defending champions was some consolation for the host.
Indonesia, which went down in a shootout with Malaysia in the semi-finals, scored once in each half through Feby Eka Putra (34th) and Syahrian Abimanyu (83rd). Matee Sarakum was on target in the 85th minute but that was all they could muster and settled for fourth spot. It was a disappointing run for pre-tournament favourites Thailand, which were stunned by Myanmar in the semis.
This evening, Indonesia came on without striker Saddil Ramdani and Polish-based star Egy Maulana Vikri, who scored in the semifinal against Malaysia before limping off injured in the last few minutes. With around 3,000 loyal fans behind them today, Indonesia were keen for a good result and within the first few minutes had a crack at their opponents.
Thailand, led by strikers Matee Sarakum and Pithak Phaphirom, took turns bothering their rival defenders. Matee had a close call in the 23rd minute but just as he was about to connect in, goalkeeper Muchamad Akilreached out to tip it away. Matee recovered the loose ball but was again denied by the keeper.
With ten minutes to the break, Indonesia struck gold when Feby Eka Putra worked down the left, cut in, and blasted a low drive which came off the post and swung into goal.
Thailand, with Matee in front, created numerous chances but were unable to make any headway. Indonesia also had their share of chances but eventually, in the 83rd minute, found their way through Syahrian who weaved his way at the top before unleashing a stinger that the Thai keeper could not stop.
Five minutes from time, Matee was up against the goalkeeper but somehow chested the ball into goal, and suddenly they were back in the game. The Thais kept on pushing forward but eventually ran out of time, handing the win to Indonesia.
The final will kick-off later tonight.