Indonesia Emerge Victorious in Chaotic SEA Games Final

Indonesia U-22 clinched their first SEA Games gold in 32 years after beating Thailand U-22 5-2 after extra time in a chaotic final match on Tuesday night at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The final had everything – goals, drama, controversy, and a massive bust-up that saw four players being sent off by the referee.

More than determined to win their first SEA Games gold since 1991, Indonesia raced to a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute after Ramadhan Sananta managed to head in a long throw from Alfreandra Dewangga.

PSM Makassar star Sananta then made it 2-0 in the fourth minute of additional time, latching onto a Rizky Ridho ball before outsmarting Soponwit Rakyart in the Thailand goal.

The second half saw Indonesia and Thailand going at it again, with the young Changsuek halving the deficit in the 66th minute after Anan Yodsangwal had expertly headed a corner into Ernando Ari’s goal.

When it seemed like Indonesia were about to hang onto their slender lead, trouble broke out in the final minutes of a 7-minute-long injury-time. The referee blew his whistle in the dying seconds of the game, prompting wild celebrations from the Indonesia camp, when in reality he had blown for a Thailand free-kick. The resulting free-kick saw Yotsakorn Burapha tying the game with virtually the last kick of the match, sending the Thai camp into pandemonium. Said pandemonium saw several Thailand coaching staff rushing over towards their Indonesian counterparts, leading to a brief scuffle that saw Titan Agung, unused at the Indonesia bench, being given his marching orders by the referee.

Things really got out of hand in the first minute of extra-time after Irfan Jauhari had given Indonesia the quick lead. Almost immediately chaos broke out in the benches of both teams, with Indonesia national team manager Sumardji being subjected to a beating from a member of the Thailand coaching staff, while fellow coaching staffs and even the players from both sides went at it towards each other.

At the end of the brawl, the referee had to issue two red cards to Indonesia’s Komang Teguh and Thailand goalkeeper Soponwit, as well as sending off a number of coaching staffs from both sides.

The rest of extra-time was all Indonesia as they took complete control of proceedings. Thailand lost a further two players to red cards – Jonathan Khemdee and Teerasak Poeiphimai, while goals from Fajar Fathur Rochman in the 107th minute and Beckham Putra right at the end of extra-time sealed both the win and the gold medal for the Timnas Garuda after a very eventful final.