JAKARTA (21 June 2019) – It was gut wrenching for the Indonesian Under-20 team when they were denied a place in the final of the AFC U20 Futsal Championship 2019 by Afghanistan in extra-time of the semifinals that was played yesterday in Tabriz, Iran.
The Indonesian youngsters – the only surviving side from ASEAN – fell to a 4-3 defeat after putting up some fierce resistance against a more physical side from Afghanistan.
And Afghanistan used their physique to good effect when they opened account in the eighth minute for Seyed Hossein Mousavi to capitalise on an Indonesian defensive error.
Indonesia then sat deep as adept to the quick counter for the score to remain at 1-0 to Afghanistan.
The match went into higher gear after the break as Indonesia’s aggressiveness paid off just two minutes after the restart with skipper Rizki Xavier made a fine finish to beat Afghan custodian Javad Safari.
In the 29th minute, Afghanistan were back in front with Arab Zada making good on Farzad Mahmoodi’s back heel as Indonesia then replied just a minute later with the second equaliser off Muh Agung Pandege to force the game into extra time.
Afghanistan then upped the tempo against a fast tiring Indonesian side for Mousavi to score as they then doubled their advantage to 4-2 all inside of five minutes when they punished an Indonesian power play for Dawood Yousufi to score.
Muhammad Sanjaya did pull in a goal right at the end, but it was too late to salvage another draw as Indonesia were a little short of their first ever appearance in the final.
“We applied different strategies in pressing, power play and others but it didn’t work out. My players played their best in every aspect, physically and mentally. Maybe we weren’t as lucky, but I’m proud of my players. There will definitely be some changes from this match. We’ll review the video of this match. But one of the things that we need to look at is our motivation, and we hope our players will keep that spirit to finish third,” said Indonesian head coach Sayan Karmadi.