Asia FIFA World Cup

Egy Scores Winner as Indonesia Edge Out Vietnam in WC Qualifiers

A single Egy Maulana Vikri goal was enough for Indonesia to see-off regional rivals Vietnam 1-0 in Thursday night’s World Cup qualifying match at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta.

The three points lifted Indonesia to 2nd place in Group F with four points, five points off runaway leaders Iraq who beat the Philippines 1-0 in their own qualifier only hours after Indonesia’s triumph at the Basra International Stadium.

The initial stages of the game unfolded sluggishly, with the Indonesian players displaying slight nervousness through numerous wayward passes while Vietnam persistently pressed the Garuda defense. Even by the 20th minute, Indonesia struggled to relieve the pressure, facing disruptions in their ball movement and failing to mount any offensive threat against Vietnam.

It wasn’t until the 30th minute that Indonesia seized their first chance, initiated by Rizky Ridho’s pressure resulting in a steal and a subsequent pass to Rafael Struick, whose shot was saved by Vietnam goalkeeper Filip Nguyen. Subsequently, Indonesia displayed a surge in courage, yet Vietnam adopted a defensive stance, impeding the Timnas Garuda‘s advancement into their final third.

As the match progressed, Vietnam took the offensive, bombarding the Indonesian defense, yet no goals were scored before the conclusion of the first half.

Following half-time, Indonesia head coach Shin Tae-yong’s substitutions, notably Egy, Pratama Arhan, and Sandy Walsh, invigorated Indonesia’s gameplay. This led to Egy’s goal in the 52nd minute, which was a result of one of Arhan’s trademark long-throws that led to the Vietnamese defense being unable to clear the ball far enough, leading Dewa United winger Egy to tap the ball past Filip from close range.

Despite Vietnam’s intensified attacks thereafter, the Indonesian defense, marshaled by debutant Jay Idzes, held firm until the 80th minute. In the closing minutes, Indonesia once again pushed forward, with Egy almost securing another goal in the 90th minute, but to no avail. The match concluded with a 1-0 victory for Indonesia.

The two regional rivals will lock horn once again next week at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, with Indonesia hoping to win there for the first time in 20 years to further cement their spot as Group F’s runners-up.