AFF U19: Floodgates open as Philippines suffer against Indonesia

Philippines vs Indonesia U19

By Jaimer Dela Cruz

With the game being played in Gelora Delta Stadium, intimidation got into the head of the Philippines U19 squad as they were drubbed by the hosts Indonesia in their AFF U19 Championship match.

Fighting for promotion to the last four of the competition, Philippines went out with great hopes in the first half as Gio Pabualan scored the opener on the 32nd minute. Pabualan fired a rocket past Muhamad Riyandi to give the visitors hope to progress to the next stage.

The young guns from the Philippines were holding the Indonesians and seemed to be unfazed by the stunning home support. Most of the time they were being pressured by the attacking Garudas. On the 79th minute, a scramble inside the box of the Philippines almost produced a goal for Indonesia but the defensive wall worked very well to deflect the attempts.

On the 81st minute though, the flood gates seemed to open through Saddil Ramdani’s ferocious strike past Jessi Semblante. The comeback was then completed by Firza Andiko just two minutes after the equalizer as he headed a lovely cross from Muhammad Marasabessy into the back of the net on the 83rd minute.

As if that was not enough, Indonesia scored their third goal of the match through Ramdani. He scored his brace through a majestic curling ball that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Even the commentators of the match were so amazed by the strike.

Todd Fereh completed the rout for the Indonesians as he sneaked one past Semblante through a counter-attack on the 90th minute. With that win, they are now undefeated in three games and are on top of the table with nine points. Not far behind them are Thailand and Vietnam with seven goals and are just separated by one goal difference.

Should the Philippines win their next games against Thailand and Laos, they still have a chance of progressing should the Garudas defeat Vietnam in their next fixture and if they would experience a shock defeat against Singapore two days after.

Photo credit: The Philippine Football Federation Official Website

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