Irfan treble helps Indonesia sink Brunei

Indonesia striker Irfan Bachdim scored a hat-trick to help get his nation's AFF Suzuki Cup preparations back on track with a 5-0 victory over Brunei on Wednesday.

Football News: Irfan Bachdim, Indonesia

By staff

Indonesia had failed to find the net in their previous two outings against DPR Korea and Vietnam but they were soon given a golden opportunity to break their goalscoring duck in the 23rd minute when they were awarded a penalty after Irfan was brought down illegally in the box.

The Persema Malang marksman stepped up confidently and sent Bruneian custodian Mohd Fakhrul Zulhazmi Yussof the wrong way to put the Merah Putih in the lead.

Shortly before the break, Nil Maizar's men doubled their lead when Vendry Mofu unleashed a rasping 30-yard strike that nestled into the top corner.

The Merah Putih came out strongly in the second half and it took only five minutes after the break for Irfan to grab his second when he calmly stoked the ball into the net, having been set free by an incisive pass from Hendra Adi Bayauw.

Hendra Bayauw then got on the scoresheet himself in the 63rd minute when he tapped home a cutback from forward Muhamad Nur Iskandar to pile on the misery on the beleaguered hosts. Irfan soon completed his first ever international hat-trick eight minutes later when he finished off a superb passing move after being found by Rahmat Syamsuddin Leo.

Following the rout, Brunei coach Kwon Oh-Son, who had to make do without nine international regulars due to their commitments to Great Eastern-YEO's S.League outfit DPMM FC, pinpointed inexperience as the main reason for his side's poor display.

"We always knew it was going to be hard going up against one of the region's top teams," Kwon was quoted as saying by AFF Suzuki Cup's official website.

Indonesia are at a different level in terms of ability and experience.

"We've only been training for a few months and we're improving every day."

Unsurprisingly, Nil Maizar was delighted with his side's victory.

"I expected them to work hard, and they did," he said.

"The most important thing was that they played with their hearts and enjoyed the game. You can't play football if you are forced."

Indonesia are already in the main draw of the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup but Brunei will have to fight it out for the only two available slots in the qualifying round of the championship in Yangon next month with Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Timor Leste all also in the running.

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