Indonesia wins 2-0, but falls short of qualifying
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Indonesia put in an impressive performance in their 2-0 defeat of Singapore, but still failed to qualify for next year’s AFC U-22 soccer championship after finishing in third place at the end of Group E matches in Pekanbaru, Riau, on Sunday.
The two goals for the home side, which welcomed coach Aji Santoso back to the sidelines from a four-match suspension, both came in the second half from Agung Supriyanto.
He scored his first goal from the penalty box before finding his second several minutes later. He beat a defender with a swift maneuver from the right flank and had the goalkeeper gasping as his thunderous goal blasted into the far post.
Despite the failure to advance to the next stage, the victory seemed to ease the disappointment inflicted in the 1-5 rout by Japan in Friday’s game.
The young Indonesians collected 9 points, or just one point behind runner-up Australia, out of a six-strong field of competitors. Japan topped the standing with a perfect collection of 15 points and with a formidable 20-2 goal margin.
Singapore came in fourth with 7 points followed by Timor Leste with 3 points and Macau with no points.
In earlier matches in the day, favorite Japan continued their dominant form with a 5-0 drubbing of another tournament favorite Australia, while Timor Leste chalked up their first victory, a 4-1 over last-placed Macau.
The goals for Japan were scored by Notsuda Gakuto in 18th and 54th minute, Iwanami Takuya (31st), Watari (45th) and Hirota (77th).
Marcos da Conceicao Jesus delivered three goals to spark Timor Leste’s rout of Macau. He scored in the 22nd, 30th and 62nd minute. Hendrique Cruz contributed a goal in the 54th minute. The consolation goal for Macau came in the 45th minute, courtesy of Chao Wai Fong.
Macau lost all five matches, scoring 4 and conceding goals 18, while the match gave Timor Leste’s first victory in the tournament.
Japan and Australia join the other 12 teams already advancing to the 2013 championship. They are Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Kuwait, Jordan, Uzbekistan, North Korea, China, South
Korea and Myanmar.
The final round of the championship will feature 16 teams with the last two spots awarded to the best third-placed team from the seven groups and the host nation, respectively.