Malaysia wins AFF-Suzuki Cup
By Eric Samuel The Star
Oh never mind Malaysia didn't ganyang (trump) Indonesia hard enough at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Wednesday night. Our boys won the AFF Suzuki Cup on a 4-2 aggregate.
Indonesia won the second leg of the final 2-1 in Jakarta while Malaysia had won the first leg 3-0.
The scorers for Indonesia were Ridwan (87th minute)and Mohammad Nasuha (71st). Safee Sali had scored in the 52nd minute to put Malaysia 1-0 in the lead.
In the first half, Indonesia threw all it had at a gutsy Malaysian team. The Malaysian boys, however, held their ground and also survived a penalty miss by the hosts.
Earlier, it was a sea of red and white at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
Never has there been such an overwhelming show of support for "Timnas" (national team) Indonesia although they had lost to Malaysia 0-3 in the first-leg of the final in the Suzuki Cup Asean Football Federation (AFF) Championships at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.
They stood behind the national team. It was a sell-out crowd of 88,000 spectators and mostly filled with red-hot hostile fans.
There were also warning notices for fans not to bring banned items into the stadium, especially laser beam lights, which stirred a controversy in the AFF Championships since Dec 1.
National coach K. Rajagopal, manager Datuk Subahan Kamal, assistant secretary of the FA of Malaysia (FAM) Kelly Sathiraj and assistant coach Tan Cheng Hoe were given a hostile reception when they trooped onto the pitch to check on the playing conditions.
The fans showed the thumbs down sign and jeered at them before their Indonesian counterparts led by Austrian coach Alfred Riedl was given a rousing welcome.
Hours before the kick off, the tense atmosphere could be felt outside The Sultan hotel where the Malaysian football team is staying.
It has been tense ever since the team arrived Monday and since Malaysia beat the Indonesians 3-0 in Sunday's AFF Suzuki Cup final first leg at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Photos by Glenn Guan/The Star (Jakarta)