Football Tribe SEA Editor
Indonesia put on an attacking display as they demolished Laos 4-0 at the City of Imus Grandstand to confirm their place in the 2019 SEA Games semifinal as Group B runners-up. With group leaders Vietnam and Thailand playing out a 2-2 draw, this meant that Garuda Muda have managed to pip Thailand to progress out of the group alongside Vietnam
Taking on a Laos side who are already out of the competition, Indra Sjafri’s boys have their fate entirely in their own hands following their 8-0 demolition of Brunei Darussalam last time out. Immediately Indonesia went into an attacking stance and took the lead after just 5 minutes. Saddil Ramdani, recently released by Malaysian Liga Super side Pahang FA and is closely linked to Liga Super newcomers Sabah FA, opened the scoring for Garuda Muda with a shot that was poorly anticipated by the Laotian defense. 1-0 Indonesia and immediately Laos tried their best to seal their defenses, with Soukaphone Vongchiengkam and his colleagues relying on counterattacks to threaten Garuda Muda. Laos captain Soukaphone even almost equalized in the closing minutes of the first half, but saw his free-kick being easily saved by Indonesia goalie Nadeo Argawinata. The 1-0 scoreline stood until the referee blows for half-time.
In the second half, Indonesia immediately flew out of the blocks and doubled their lead thanks to Persebaya Surabaya’s Osvaldo Haay, the in-form Indonesian attacker scoring his 6th goal of the SEA Games. Stung by Indonesia’s second, Laos immediately piled on the defenses, with Barito Putera’s Evan Dimas and Madura United’s Syahrian Abimanyu working excellently in the midfield to keep Laos on their toes. In an effort to break through Laos’ fortified defenses, Indra decided to pull off Lechia Gdansk’s Egy Maulana Vikri and introduced PSIM Yogyakarta’s very own Witan Sulaeman into the pitch.
As the match entered its 71st minute, Indonesia were given a penalty by the referee. Bagas Adi Nugroho was given the task of executing the penalty, but Laos goalkeeper Solasak Thilavong managed to save the Bhayangkara FC player’s effort. Solasak, however, was left defenseless as Bagas managed to head in the rebound, making it 3-0 Indonesia.
Osvaldo adds the icing on the cake for an excellent Indonesia side with his second of the game in injury time, leaving Laos in the wrong end of a 4-0 mauling.
Progressing out of Group B as runners-up, Indra’s boys will take on Group A winners Myanmar in the semifinals at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on December 7th.