Thais Get Advantage Over Indonesia
Indonesia, seeking a good result ahead of the second leg in Bangkok on December 20, battled back relentlessly but failed to breach the Thai defence.
The Indonesians will now have the difficult task of trying to overcome their opponents away from their fans. Indonesian coach Benny Dollo said it was not over.
Thailand’s Sutee Suksomkit crossed from the left and Teerasil Dangda leapt high and placed the ball into the top right corner, well beyond the reach of the lanky Markus Harison Rihihina.
Indonesia had a nasty scare five minutes later when Sutee’s freekick smashed through but just before the referee Vo Minh Tri had blown for an infringement.
Thailand picked up a another freekick in the 29th minute but Sutee’s superbly struck shot was punched away. Ismed Sofyan, to the relief of the Indonesian bench, cleared what would have been a goal off the line after when his keeper was beaten.
About eight minutes after the re-start, Thai skipper Datsakorn Thonglao watched in despair as his strike hit the cross bar. Datsakorn was not done and in the 73rd minute, let loose a stinging shot which Markus saved.
With time quickly running out, Indonesia began to intensify their attacks. Benny replaced Bambang Irsyad Aras for Talaohu Abdulmushafry and Arif Suyono.
Arif especially was a danger and soon after coming on, almost set up the equaliser but Nataporn Phanrit just narrowly managed to turn the ball away.
In the dying minutes, Arif raced in from the left and sent in a low cross into the box but Budi Sudarsono failed to control it.
INDONESIA: Markus Harison Rihihina (GK), Charis Yulianto (Cpt), Ismed Sofyan, Isnan Ali, Irsyad Aras (Arief Suryono), Nova Arianto (M Roby), Muhammad Ilham, Firman Utina, Ponaryo Astaman, Budi Sudarsono, Bambang Pamungkas (TA Musafry)
THAILAND: Kittisak Rawangpa (GK), Suree Sukha, Chonlatit Jantakam, Nataporn Phanrit, Datsakorn Thonglao (Cpt), Suchao Nutnum, Teerasil Dangda, Natthapong Samabna, Teeratep Winothai, Surat Sukha, Sutee Suksomkit