Indonesia beats Thailand 2-1 in AFF final

Cibinong, W Java (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian soccer squad (Timnas) "Garuda" defeated Thailand 2-1 in the first of two finals of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki 2016 championship on Wednesday evening.

The Timnas Garudas victory in the first leg of the final, held at the Pakansari Stadium, Cibinong sub-district, West Java Province, is a huge advantage for the team going into the second final, to be played in Bangkok, Thailand, on Saturday.

Thailand scored first, in the 32nd minute, through a header by forward Teerasil Dangda.

Dangda moved into the penalty box and headed the ball swiftly to the left of the goal, catching Indonesian goalkeeper Kurnia Meiga off guard.

In the 39th minute, Thailand nearly scored another goal when Sarawut took a shot at the goal from the penalty box, but hit it straight into the arms of goalkeeper Kurnia Meiga.

Even in the second half of the match the Thailand team looked dominant while the Timnas struggled to lift their game with sporadic attacks from both wings.

But it was Indonesia that managed to equalize in the 64th minute through a long-range shot by Rizki Pora.

Goalkeeper Kawin Thamsatchanan wrongly anticipated the direction of the ball after it touched the body of a Thailand defender.

Five minutes later, Indonesia surged ahead when Hansamu Yama headed into the top left corner of the Thailand goal.

Earlier, last Wednesday the Timnas Garuda had moved into the final after a 2-2 draw against Vietnam in the second leg of the semifinal at the My Dinh stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam.

On Saturday Dec 3, the Timnas Garuda had defeated the Vietnamese team 2-1 in the first leg of the semifinal at the Pakansari Stadium, Cibinong sub-district, West Java Province.

With the 2-2 draw, Indonesia won 4-3 on aggregate and entered the final.

Earlier, Vietnam had topped group B.

Thailand was the winner of group A, and Timnas Garuda the runner up.(*)