(News Source : the Star Online)
MALAYSIA dished out yet another strong performance and were crowned champions of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) championship at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta last night.
They were beaten 1-2 by Indonesia in the second-leg final match but a 3-0 victory in the first-leg encounter at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday proved to be enough for them, claiming the Suzuki Cup 4-2 on aggregate.
It was the first time Malaysia won the AFF championship title since the biennial tournament was introduced in 1996.
Malaysia played against a desperate Indonesia last night in front of 95,000 spectators.Cream of the crop: Malaysian striker Mohd Safee Sali poses with the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 top scorer’s trophy. – AFP
And they made it more difficult for Indonesia to save the tie with a specatacular goal by Mohd Safee Sali in the 53rd minute. Safee, who scored a brace in the first leg, took his tally five goals and won the Golden Boot.
Muhammad Nasuha equalised in the 71st minute and Malaysian centreback Mohd Muslim Ahmad nodded in an own goal to give Indonesia victory on the night.
The young Malaysian side kept their composure and showed great determination to emerge as the champions.
Indonesia were without their inspirational flanker Okto Maniani, who was out on suspension, while striker Yongky Ari Bowo was not in the starting list due to injury.
Their replacements were Arif Suyono and Irfan Bachdim.
As expected, Indonesia, who had beaten Malaysia 5-1 in the opening Group A match at the same venue, came charging from the first whistle. But the Malaysian defence, marshalled by Mohd Muslim Ahmad and Mohd Fadhli Shas, did well to keep a tight leash on the two Indonesian dangermen Christian Gonzales and Irfan Bachdim.
Indonesia won a penalty when Mohd Sabree Abu handled the ball in the 15th minute. But much to their disappointment, skipper Firman Utina’s tame shot was easily saved goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat.
The Indonesians, desperate for an early goal, kept on pressing but Khairul stood out, warding off at least five attempts from them before the teams went for the break.
Malaysia looked dangerous on the counter attack. Against the run of play Mohd Ashaari Shamsuddin sent a long through ball for Safee to chase and the Selangor hitman finished off clinically put Malaysia in front in the 54th minute.
Indonesia now needed five goals to beat Malaysia and they had to take desperate measures and introduced their aging star, Bambang Pamungkas, for Irfan Bachdim at the hour mark.
Despite a goal down, Indonesia never gave up and their persistence paid off when defender Mohd Nasuha hit home the rebound off a save by goalkeeper Khairul in the 72nd minute.
Then with the clock ticking away, Mohd Muslim handed them a goal off a goalmouth melee in the 87th minute.
We are the champions: The Malaysian team celebrating with their trophy after winning the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 final at the Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta last night. – GLENN GUAN/The Star
I pick this two videos from
AFF Suzuki Cup tournament Official youtube channel video
AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 Final 2nd Leg Indonesia vs Malaysia
AFF Suzuki Cup 2010 Final 1st Leg Malaysia vs Indonesia
Congratulation Malaysia players and staff, having only average of 22 years old players (the youngest team so far), all of you able to show to the nation, against all odds, that you really our team that deserve our respect. Hopefully, the newly found love for Malaysia football (for some fans out there) will continue to grow and will be shown in our own Malaysia League. Support your local team and attend the stadium for every match.
Having said that, we know ASEAN is still far behind. AFF Suzuki Cup is south-east asia’s main events so far but Asian Cup is still beyond reach for all ten ASEAN team.
Our newly crown champions, Malaysia and of course the rest of ASEAN countries will still need to improve a lot and continue to further develop their own football national team to qualified for Asian Cup final round, which for 2011 calendar will be held in Qatar. Can we do it for Asian Cup 2015? Sure we will, and I’m talking about all ASEAN national team.