| SOLO (26 Sept 2010) – Timor Leste secured third place in the AFF Under-16 Championship here after hitting two goals in six minutes to sink hosts Indonesia 2-0 at the Manahan Stadium this evening.
Both sides were aiming to avoid the last spot in today’s third-fourth playoff but Timor Leste were the ones who took their chances well and delivered two goals through Fidel Santos and Rogerio Seran in 50th and 56th minutes respectively to take the bronze.
“The stamina of the players were poor. Sure we won against Indonesia today but there’s still a lot of work to be done. The tournament here has shown that we need to be at a higher level than we are now,” said Kim Shin Hwan, the chief coach of Timor Leste, whose team will leave for South Korea on Tuesday.
The final between China and Vietnam will be held later tonight. The four teams competing here have qualified for the final rounds of the Asian Under-16 in Uzbekistan next month and are using this tournament to prepare for that event.
So despite finishing third and fourth, Timor and Indonesia, will emerge stronger after this tournament. They will now have some time to iron out their problems and get set for the Asian finals.
In the first half, there was probably more action in the stands with the local fans, known as Pasoepathi keeping the crowd entertained with their lively songs and actions. Some of the energy on the stands gradually filtered down to the Indonesian players as they began to play in the later part of the half.
With the hardworking Haniel Pagawak working overtime along the left flank, he provided the crosses which sadly were not picked up by his teammates in the middle. As usual, the livewire of the team, the nippy Ricky Alfian was constantly looking for a way through but was unable to penetrate the tight Timor defence.
On the other end, Timor strikers Nidio Alves and Rifqi Attamimi did enough to keep their rival defenders on edge. The duo, who have been dangerous in all their matches here, managed to sneak in a few shots but were off the mark.
Soon after the break Timor’s South Korean coach Kim Shin Hwan made two crucial changes, bringing in Fidel for skipper Nicolau Fernandes, and replacing Rifqi Attamimi with Rogerio.
It turned out to be magic Fidel struck just five minutes later while Rogerio was on the scoresheet in the 56th minute.
“It was tough to play two matches in three days and it was obvious that the players could not cope. After the tournament here, we will be heading to Malanag to train and play friendly matches. We hope that we can polish up the team even more then,” added Mundari Karya, the chief coach of Indonesia.
Timor Leste: Ramos Maxanches (GK), Olandino De Jesus, Nelson Sing, Jose Carlos Fonseca, Nicolau Fernandes (cpt) (Fidel, 46th), Nidio Alves, Rifqi Attamimi (Rogerio, 46th), Adelino Reis, Olegario de Araujo, Jorge Victor, Jose Martins Do Rego (Nataniel, 82nd).
Indonesia: Achmad Risky Kurniawan (GK), Hendriko Kiko Masko, Haniel Pagawak, Ricky Alfian, Antoni Putro Nugroho, Ricki Bardes Leurama, Reynaldy Junior Alfiansyah (Abdul Mutoleb, 40th), Purwa Putra (cpt), Firmansyah Priyatna, Angga Febryanto Putra (Maldini, 46th, Hadi 58th), Dhomas Adhitya.