Singapore, Indonesia battle to 1-1 draw in first leg of AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final
Ikhsan Fandi scored his third goal of the tournament to help the Lions hold their counterparts.
Singapore and Indonesia were inseparable in the first leg of their AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final tie on Wednesday (Dec 22), which ended 1-1.
Witan Sulaeman had given the Indonesians the lead in the first-half, before Ikhsan Fandi equalised for Singapore in the second-half.
The Garuda had dominated the first half, with the Lions finding it hard to cope with the movements of the Indonesian attackers.
Witan’s opener in the 28th minute came after Asnawi Mangkualam broke down the right and played a delightful square pass. The forward produced a smart side-footed finish, beyond the reach of Singapore goalkeeper Hassan Sunny.
The Indonesians could have gone into the break up 2-0, but Witan found the side-netting instead after being put under pressure by Hassan.
Tatsuma Yoshida made a change at half-time, moving captain Hariss Harun into the backline and bringing on midfielder M Anumanthan and it worked a treat.
The Lions started threatening more often, with chances coming for Faris Ramli and Ikhsan Fandi.
The pair combined in the 70th minute to deadly effect to pull Singapore level in the match. Receiving the ball inside Indonesia’s half, Faris beat a couple of defenders before sliding Ikhsan through, and the newly-signed BG Pathum striker made no mistakes with his finish. It was Ikhsan’s third goal of the tournament, and the first time he has scored since the opening game against Myanmar.
Ikhsan was brought off after the goal – presumably a precautionary move – and that took the sting out of the Lions’ attack
But Singapore will take heart that for most of the second half, they were hardly threatened by Indonesia.
The result means that there will be all to play for in the second leg on Dec 25.