Despite 5-1 win over Laos, Indonesia exits tournament
It's the second consecutive group stage exit for Indonesia, but Evan Dimas comes out a winner

HANOI, Vietnam – Despite trouncing Laos 5-1 on Friday, November 28, Indonesia made an early exit from the AFF Suzuki Cup for the second tournament in a row.

Evan Dimas being congratulated by his teammate after scoring the first goal of the match. Screenshot from YouTube

Evan Dimas, who was playing his first international match for the national team, and Rizki Ramdani gave the Merah Putih an early two-goal lead at Hang Day Stadium, but Supardi Nasir Bujang was sent off for a foul on Vilayout Sayyabounsou just before the half-hour and Khampheng Sayavutth converted the resulting penalty to make it 2-1 at the interval.

Despite the man disadvantage, Indonesia pulled away in the second half with Rizki Ramdani netting his second of the game in the 50th minute and Zulham Malik Zamrun scoring in the 82nd minute before a late own goal by Laos captain Ketsada Souksavanh completed the rout.

However, Vietnam’s 3-1 win over the Philippines also on Friday meant the hosts claimed top spot in Group A and advanced to the semi-finals along with the Azkals, who dropped to second place. (READ: Azkals bow to Vietnam, drops to group second place)  

“It was of course an important win. If you lose the match you might have to play in the qualifiers in two years,” Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl said, as reported in the AFF Suzuki Cup website.

“It was a difficult match for us after we lost one player, but I think the result is too high because the Lao team shot I don’t know how many times at our goal.

“Our goalkeeper played very well and made a great match today. We could have received two or three goals, but we could also have scored more.” 

It was clear, though, that Indonesians found a new football star in 19-year-old Evan, who scored the first goal just 8 minutes into the game.


After the match, his name trended on Twitter in Indonesia, with football stars and fans alike tweeting his praises. 

Vietnam will now face the runners-up of Group B in the semi-finals with the first leg on December 7, while the Philippines will take on the winners of the other section beginning on December 6.

Thailand have already secured one of the two semi-final berths in Group B, while the other spot will either be taken by Singapore, Malaysia or Laos. – with a report from Agence France-Presse/


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