Riedl: Indonesia lucky to advance

Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl said his side were lucky to advance to the AFF Suzuki Cup final after a 2-2 draw with Vietnam saw them through on Wednesday night.

After a 2-1 win in their first-leg encounter at the Pakansari Stadium in Bogor, Indonesia, the Garudas snatched a crucial away goal through Stefano Lilipaly before the home side forced extra time at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi by levelling the aggregate score at 3-3 with two late goals. Indonesia scored the winner with a penalty after Vietnam’s stand-in goalkeeper gave away a spot kick.

“Vietnam were the better team, but we made it up with good organisation and determination,” Reidl said after the game.

“It is definitely sweet going into the final.”

They face Thailand or Myanmar, who play their second-leg semi-final in Thailand tonight, with the hosts holding a two-goal advantage from the first-leg.

“And today [Wednesday], we had to fight for luck,” Reidl said. “We conceded two goals through set-pieces and it was hard to defend against that.”

Indonesian pundit Yusuf Kurniawan said Riedl’s match awareness was a key factor.

He said the Austrian saw his side’s weaknesses and replaced Boaz Solossa and Andik Vermansyah in response.

“Riedl’s ability to maximise the squad, despite its limitations, is praiseworthy,” Kurniawan told the Jakarta Post.

Meanwhile, Vietnam coach Nguyen Huu Thang put his hand up when it came to accepting responsibility for the outcome.

“My sincere and also the team’s apologies to all Vietnam fans for not being able to win this game and put us in the final,” he said.

“We were unlucky, we could not get the result that we wanted. And we are really sorry.”

The two legs of the final are to be played on December 14 and December 17.