YANGON (9 Dec 2013) – Yandi Sofyan Munawar took the pressure off head coach Rahmad Darmawan when he struck in the second half to give Indonesia a close 1-0 win over Cambodia in the second match day of Group B here at the Youth Training Centre.
With the Cambodians having conceded a 3-0 loss to hosts Myanmar two days earlier, there was pressure on the Indonesians to do better or least match the scoreline.
But Cambodians, despite being besieged with the suspension of four of their key players by the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC), were disciplined in their defensive line before looking for avenues to push forward.
Indonesia could not create the first real chance of the game until the tenth minute where off a long crossover from a blond-haired Diego Michiels, the ever menacing Andik ran in for a shot that was blocked by Cambodian custodian Sou Yaty.
Cambodia tried to get a semblance of a fight back going but Prak Mony Udom and Phourng Soksana just could not find their way through Indonesian defensive marshalls Andri Ibo and Manahati Lestusen.
As Andri Ibo unleashed a rifling 15th minute free kick that was blocked by Sou, the Cambodians replied with their first real chance in the 33rd minute, but Chhinn Chouen shot from inside the box, sailed well over the crossbar.
Not even the mercurial Andik could change the score line in the first half, even though Indonesia came close on a few occasions.
Three minutes after the restart, Rizki Ramdani Lestaluhu came even closer but it was not until the 53rd minute that the deadlock was broken when Yandi Sofyan Munawar ran in from the right for a shot that bounced off keeper Sou for the lead.
In the closing stages as Cambodia pushed forward in search of the equalizer, it allowed Andik and Co, more space but despite having several chances on a trot, they just could not make it count as Sou was determined to concede only that lone goal.
“We did not play well in the first half. The first game of the tournament is always difficult,” said Indonesian coach Rahmad Darmawan after the match. “But it was important that we picked up the first three points of the competition.”