Indonesia keeps Asian Cup hopes alive with 2-1 victory over Macau
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Indonesia’s hopes for qualifying for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-22 Asian Cup remain intact after it defeated Macau 2-1 in a Group E match in Pekanbaru, Riau, on Tuesday evening.
With the match played at the Riau Main Stadium, the host squad, which now stands third in the provisional standings among six teams, squandered a flurry of chances and had to be content with a one-goal victory margin.
With the defeat, Macau remains pointless along with Timor Leste, with their chances for qualification gone.
Indonesia, which lost to Australia in the opening game before beating Timor Leste 2-0, jumped to third on six points. Singapore, which played out a 0-0 draw with Australia earlier on, follows with four points.
Japan could only emerge as 1-0 winners over Timor Leste but now they have won all three matches to top the standings, with Australia in second place, trailing the leaders by two points.
On Tuesday the home team managed to create many chances only to lack composure and selfishness in front of goal.
The match was in its infancy when the hosts forced their opponents to concede two corner kicks.
Macau was forced to defend throughout the game, relying only on counterattacks. In a brief spell of attack, defender Pang Chi Wai had a good chance with a free shot from outside the penalty box, but it came to nought.
South Korean referee Ko Hyung-jin produced a first yellow card after 20 minutes to Macau’s forward Kaewchang Capelo Iuri for a late tackle on Dany Saputra. A second yellow was handed to Indonesia’s defender Syaiful Indra Cahya in the 35th minute. He was adjudged to have intentionally slowed the game when he got in the way of a free kick.
Hendra Adi Bayauw scored his first goal of the game after 24 minutes followed by a second in the 43rd minute, the latter goal coming through a volley that was enough to outwit Macau goalie Ho Man Fai.
The home spectators applauded their team at the end of the first half and hopes were palpable that more goals would come when the teams returned.
The game heated up in the second half, with Macau trying to mount attacks through captain De Jesus Morais Alves Vinicio and Kaewchange Capelo, but Indonesia’s defense was too strong.
Macau‘s coach Leung Sui Wing replaced Kaewchange Capelo with Sio Ka Un. The substitution appeared to work with the visitors capitalizing on some slack defending and a miscued clearance from goalkeeper Aji Saka to snatch a goal back.
Macau’s forward Pang Chi Hang broke into the penalty box, evaded a lunge from Aji Saka before slotting the ball into the empty net.
Indonesia kept up the onslaught with a supply of the passes mostly down the left flank but could not add to the two goals.
Twelve teams have qualified for the 2013 AFC U-22 Championship finals after finishing their group stages on Tuesday.
Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Kuwait, Jordan, Uzbekistan, DPR North Korea, China, South Korea and Myanmar have qualified from the group stage either as group leaders or as second-placed teams in Groups A, B, C, D, F and G.
They will be joined by another four teams, the top two from Indonesia’s group (Group E), the best third-placed team and the host, which will be confirmed at an AFC meeting on July 19.