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 Suzuki Cup: Malaysia and Indonesia reach final

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on December 19, 2010
Malaysia

Malaysia have qualified for their first AFF Suzuki Cup final since 1996

Malaysia and Indonesia have qualified for the final of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, the tournament for south east Asian nations, after both teams overcame defending champions Vietnam and the Philippines in their respective semi-finals.

Malaysia held a 2-0 first leg lead going into their return fixture in Hanoi on Saturday as title holders Vietnam were desperate to reach their second consecutive final. Alas the game petered out into a goalless draw with the 40,000 crowd in the My Dinh stadium going home disappointed. The major talking point of a game few and far between in highlights was the 72nd minute red card shown to Vietnam’s Pham Thanh Luong who dived in the box following an attempt to gain the ball on a rare attack. Malaysia held on with ease to register a place in the final of this tournament for only the second time and will want to go one better than in their first appearance in the inaugural event in 1996 where they lost 1-0 to Thailand.

Cristian Gonzáles

Cristian Gonzáles is the tournament's top scorer

In the other semi-final Uruguay-born Cristian Gonzáles proved to be the decisive figure in both legs of Indonesia’s 2-0 aggregate victory over the Philippines. It was Gonzáles who scored the only goal in the first leg played on Thursday to give Indonesia a slender advantage going into today’s second leg match-up. Indonesia had him to thank yet again in the 43rd minute of the second leg with a stunning strike hit from 25 yards out, flying into the top right-hand corner, giving Philippines keeper Neil Etheridge no chance. Gonzáles is now the tournament’s top scorer with three goals and he will have a chance to cement his status in the two-legged final with Malaysia.

The first leg of the final takes place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on December 26th with the return fixture playing in Djakarta, Indonesia, three days later.

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AFF: Safee gives Malaysia two goal advantage over champions Vietnam

Posted in Asian Football by peterbein on December 15, 2010

Mohd Safee SaliThe first leg of today’s semi-final between Malaysia and Vietnam was played today in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, the competition for south east Asian nations. Vietnam, defending champions from the most recent tournament in 2008, were away in their first leg match and they were to suffer as Malaysia took their chances and take a two goal lead to Vietnam in Saturday’s second leg.

The first half saw both teams have a couple of good chances in what was overall a tightly fought opening 45 minutes. The second half was a different story as the game opened up and the warning signs were already there for Vietnam before conceding their first goal as Malaysia’s Safee Sali had a goal disallowed after 55 minutes. Sadly for the champions they didn’t heed these signs as the same player would go on to score the first goal of the game just six minutes later, ghosting into the penalty box from a free-kick to guide the ball home with his head. With ten minutes left on the clock Safee would double the home side’s lead from close range. A shot from distance from Sadiq was parried by Vietnam keeper Tan Truong and turned home by Safee whose first two goals of the tournament helped to send the 80,000 capacity crowd in the Bukit Jalil stadium home happy.

The second leg of this semi-final will be played on Saturday at the National Stadium, Hanoi. The other semi-final between the Philippines and Indonesia will see both legs played in the Indonesian capital of Djakarta on the dates of December 16th and 19th. The Philippines cannot play either game at home due to inadequate stadiums not complying with tournament regulations.

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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.