AFF Suzuki Cup 2018: Indonesia toil to victory over Timor-Leste

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Indonesia are up and running in Group B of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 after surviving a real scare to beat Timor-Leste 3-1 on Tuesday.

Having fallen to an opening defeat to Singapore last Friday, the Indonesians were expected to bounce back with a dominant display against the Timorese, who are widely regarded as the weakest side in the group.

But, following a goalless first half at the Gelora Bung Karno, it was Timor-Leste who shockingly took the lead three minutes after the break courtesy of a stunning strike by Rufino Gama, who latched onto a long ball on the edge of the box before unleashing a dipping volley past Andritany Ardhiyasa into the top corner.

Nonetheless, the hosts were gifted an equaliser on the hour mark when the overlapping Alfath Fathier was fed by Andik Vermansyah and cut inside on his right foot, before his tame shot was spilled by Fagio Augusto into his own net.

Stefano Lilipaly then put Garuda ahead in the 69th minute when he coolly drilled a penalty into the bottom corner, after Andik had been felled by Gumario inside the area.

And, eight minutes from time, the comeback was completed following a classic piece of wing-play from Riko Simanjuntak as he danced past two opponents before hanging up a lovely ball to the back post for Beto to head home.

INDONESIA: Andritany Ardhiyasa, Gavin Kwan Adsit, Fachrudin Aryanto, Hansamu Yama, Alfath Fathier, Muhammad Hargianto, Evan Dimas, Andik Vermansyah (Bayu Pradana 89′), Septian David Maulana (Stefano Lilipaly 61’), Febri Haryadi (Riko Simanjuntak 56’), Beto.

TIMOR-LESTE: Fagio Augusto, Feliciano Goncalves, Gumario, Filomeno Junior, Jose Silva (Candido 84’), Adelino Trindade, Armindo de Almeida, Nataniel Reis (Jose Almeida 73’), Joao Pedro, Henrique Cruz (Savio 71’), Rufino Gama.

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