Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

AFF Cup: Malaysia are South-East Asian champions

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on December 29, 2010

AFF Suzuki CupThe AFF Suzuki Cup final, second leg, was held in Indonesia’s capital of Djakarta today and for the hosts it proved to be too much of a difficult task to come back from the three goal deficit they had suffered in the first leg against Malaysia three days ago.

After a goalless first half there wasn’t much hope left among the home fans of a fightback and the fears were confirmed just nine minutes into the second half when the tournament’s top scorer, Mohd Safee Sali, opened the scoring getting his fifth goal of the competition and gave Malaysia a 4-0 aggregate lead. Indonesia did manage to pull two goals back in the last twenty minutes through Mohammed Masuha and Muhammed Ridwan but the home side left it too little, too late. Malaysia’s 4-2 aggregate win gives them their first ever title in this tournament.

WATCH SECOND LEG HIGHLIGHTS HERE:

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AFF: Gonzáles gives Indonesia crucial one goal advantage

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on December 16, 2010

Cristian GonzálesA 32nd minute strike from Cristian Gonzáles was enough to give Indonesia a narrow 1-0 advantage in their AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final, first leg match against the Philippines today in Djakarta.

The Philippines, who finished second behind Vietnam in Group B, were supposed to be at home in the first leg today but were told by the Executive Committee that they had inadequate stadia and, therefore, were told to play both legs of their semi-final against Group A winners Indonesia in their opponents’ country. So it was that both teams took to the field in the Gelora Bung Karno stadium in front of 70,000 spectators and, in a fairly open game, it was to be Uruguayan-born Gonzáles who would settle the contest. He capitalized upon some defensive uncertainly after Firman Utina’s long ball from deep inside the Philippines’ half reached his head on the angle of the six yard box. getting inbetween the visitors’ keeper Neil Etheridge and left-back Ray Jónsson. Despite having a free header Gonzáles almost missed the target; had the ball gone another metre to the left then he would’ve missed an open goal. Instead the ball hit the inside of the far post and went in much to the delight of the home crowd.

The Philippines did well to restrict the ‘de facto’ hosts of the game to one goal. This, after all, is the country’s first ever semi-final and they reached them having only conceded one goal in three games before today. If their defence can remain so resolute in the second leg then they might have a chance of upsetting the odds. However if the Indonesians can make the most of their ‘official’ home tie on Sunday then they should, as expected, reach the final. A fascinating clash awaits.

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Asia: Indonesia and Malaysia qualify for AFF Cup semi-finals

Posted in Asian Football, International Football by peterbein on December 7, 2010
Bryan Robson

Bryan Robson saw his Thailand team crash out of the tournament

The AFF Suzuki Cup is almost at the business end of the tournament. Group A concluded today with Bryan Robson’s Thailand team going out of the competition having finished third in the group behind Malaysia and Indonesia.

Indonesia came top of the group at a canter having won all three of their group matches in the tournament’s opening stage. Having been runners-up in this competition on three occasions many feel that Indonesia might fancy their chances of finally getting their hands on the trophy this time around following three very good displays. In their opening match they disposed of fellow group qualifiers Malaysia by five goals to one, then defeated Laos by an easy 6-0 scoreline. In today’s game Thailand needed to win to have any hope of progressing to the semi-finals and their hopes were aided when Suree Sukha gave them a 66th minute lead. But the Indonesians came from behind with two goals in the final ten minutes of the game, both of which, scored by Bambang Pamungkas,came from the penalty spot.

The semi-finals will be played on a home and away basis from December 15-19.

Thailand’s defeat meant that Malaysia could leapfrog them into second spot in the group with a win against whipping boys Laos and this duly happened. Malaysia put five goals past a hapless Laos with just one goal in reply which meant that Malaysia finished five points behind the group leaders and two ahead of Thailand. Both Indonesia and Malaysia will find out tomorrow who their semi-final opponents will be as there are three teams – Philippines, Singapore and defending champions Vietnam – who are fighting it out for the two semi-final places in Group B.