AFF Futsal: Tricky semi-final path for Malaysia after 1-5 loss to Indonesia

by BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – The men’s national futsal squad’s chances to the semi-finals are grim after suffering a 1-5 defeat at the hands of Indonesia in 2022 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Futsal Championship in Bangkok, Thailand yesterday.

Indonesian players  Ardiansyah Nur and Holypaul Septinus Soumilena emerged as heroes after netting two goals each much to the chargin Malaysia’s chief coach Chiew Chun Yong.

In the first half, both sides started cautiously while looking for the right moment.

Indonesia who are the runners-up in the 2019 edition stepped up the tempo with Soumilena making several attempts but were successfully thwarted by goalkeeper Muhammad Syawal Sabaruddin.

Later Malaysia were almost on target when captain Khairul Effendy’s powerful volley hit the goalpost and the score remained 0-0 in the first half.

Well-rejuvenated, both teams sprang into the second with more vigour but it was Soumilena who found the net in the 21st minute.

However, one minute later Malaysia equalised through Mohd Ridzwan Bakri.

But as the game progressed, the Indonesians began to find their touches, with Firman Ardiansyah slotting in the second goal in the 29th minute.

Malaysia were punished again when Soumilena scored goal number three in the 35th minute to let Indonesia lead 3-1.

Indonesia were on target again with two more goals via Ardiansyah Nur in the closing minutes to secure a resounding 5-1 victory.

Malaysia who collected three points after two matches will be meeting Brunei and hosts, Thailand to complete their Group A marches for a slot in the semi-finals.

In BANGKOK, Chiew said the team started today’s match against Indonesia well in terms of defence and attack.

However, he said during the second half, the players started to lose focus and that was when Indonesia piled up their goals.

Expecting today’s match to be tough, he said Malaysia played a very careful game in the first half and tried to counterattack where an opening came up.

“In the last five minutes, I decided to step up the tempo to snatch a win but it did not work out well and we must win the next two games against Brunei (today) and Thailand (Wednesday),” he told Bernama here today.

Chiew admitted that the attempt at power play was not well organised and Malaysia paid dearly with Indonesia garnering two more goals. 

“Generally, the team did play according to the plan but did not create enough chances,” he said.