Young Garuda squad loses to Thai­land on penal­ties

The Jakarta Post - - HEADLINES -

De­spite play­ing with 10 play­ers in the sec­ond half, In­done­sia’s young squad showed their bat­tling met­tle only to lose out to Thai­land 3-2 in a penalty shootout in the semi­fi­nals of the 2017 ASEAN Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion (AFF) U-18 Youth Cham­pi­onship on Fri­day.

In­done­sia’s coach, In­dra Sjafri, of­fered his apol­ogy for fail­ing to lead the squad to the next round in the tour­na­ment, An­tara re­ported.

“My grat­i­tude goes to our play­ers, who have fought re­ally hard, es­pe­cially with only 10 men left in the sec­ond half.” In­done­sia was one player down fol­low­ing the dis­missal of Sad­dil Ram­dani for el­bow­ing an op­po­nent.

“In­done­sia, please ac­cept our apol­ogy for this fail­ure, and thank you for your sup­port,” said In­dra.

Thai­land came out on top as the War Ele­phants per­formed slightly bet­ter in the shoot-out.

In­done­sia pro­duced the two suc­cess­ful shots from Egy Maulana Fikri and Luthfi Ka­mal Ba­harsyah, while Thai­land scored from Nat­tawut Chooti­wat, Chokanan Saima-in and Teer­a­pat Lao­habut.

“We cre­ated a lot of chances, but we failed to score. But this is soc­cer,” said In­dra, as quoted by asean­foot­ball.org.

In­dra re­vealed that he had trained his play­ers for a penal­ties sce­nario, re­sult­ing in a se­lec­tion of five shoot­ers, in­clud­ing Feby Eka Pu­tra.

“I took out Feby, be­cause he got in­jured and had a cramp,” said In­dra.

Luthfi said the team would now fo­cus on win­ning third place. “We still have one match for third place, and we will do our best to win it.”

In­done­sia will face Myan­mar for the third-place honor. The host suc­cumbed to Malaysia 4-5, also in a penalty shoot-out in the evening match.

Thai­land’s coach Marc Pala­cios said: “Of course we are very happy to make the fi­nals. We beat one of the big­gest teams in this tour­na­ment. The win was not only down to the goal­keeper, who saved two penal­ties, but also to the other play­ers in the team, who fought hard to­day.”

On yet an­other hot af­ter­noon, both teams were in at­tack mode from the get-go, although Thai­land was missed mid­fielder Ekanit Panya.

Com­bi­na­tion work be­tween Egy Maulana Vikri and Wi­tan Su­lae­man was aimed at ter­ror­iz­ing the Thais as early as the sev­enth minute, but to no avail. Thai­land replied with Panyawat Nisan­gram’s header, a re­sponse to Nakin Wisetchai’s cross, but sub­sti­tute keeper Aqil Savik was equal to the task.

Thai­land con­tin­ued to stay in its line and rarely pushed for­ward, but with In­done­sia also fail­ing to make any of its chances count, the game went into the penalty shoot-out, which ended in Thai­land’s fa­vor.

AFP/ Ye Aung THU

Cruel end: In­done­sian play­ers re­act af­ter los­ing the ASEAN Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion U18 Cham­pi­onship 2017 semi­fi­nal match to Thai­land in Yan­gon on Thurs­day. In­done­sia lost 2-3 in a penalty shoot-out af­ter the two teams played a 0-0 draw in reg­u­lar time.

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