FOX Sports Asia takes a look at how surprise package Indonesia made their way to the AFF Suzuki Cup final.
Unfancied Indonesia began their campaign with an entertaining defeat to regional powerhouse Thailand. Trailing 2-0 to goals from Peerapat and Teerasil Dangda, the Garudas drew level 10 minutes into the second half thanks to two headers in three minutes from hitman Boaz Solossa and Lerby Eliandry. They couldn’t hold on though as Teerasil scored twice in the last 11 minutes to seal the win for the Thais.
Their second game saw the Red and Whites earn an entertaining 2-2 draw against co-hosts the Philippines. Fachrudin Haryanto headed the Garudas into an early lead from a free-kick before Misagh Bahadoran poked the co-hosts level, again from a free-kick. Solossa put Indonesia back in front, netting a rebound before Phil Younghusband hit back with a late free-kick to earn a draw.
The final group game saw the Garudas trailing to an early bicycle kick from Singapore’s Khairul Amri, but second-half goals from Andik Vermansyah and Stefano Lilipaly claimed the win for Alfred Riedl’s men and saw them finish second in the so-called group of death.
Up against a strong Vietnam side in the semifinal, Indonesia surprised many by claiming a 2-1 victory in the home leg. Young defender Hansamu Yama headed the Garudas into an early lead from a corner before Vietnam equalised from the spot through Nguyen van Quyet. The home side then grabbed a first-leg lead with a penalty, Boaz firing home after a foul on Stefano Lilipaly.
Boaz Solossa has netted three goals for the Garudas.
The second leg in Hanoi was epic. Despite the hosts having all the play, it was Indonesia who took the lead after the break against the run of play through Lilipaly following a defensive howler.
Vietnam than had their keeper sent off, but managed to take the tie into extra time with two late goals from Vu Van Thanh and Vu Minh Tuan.
Indonesia prevailed though, thanks to a 97th-minute penalty from Manahati Lestusen following a foul by stand-in keeper Que Ngoc Hai to earn a 4-3 aggregate win and set up a second meeting with Thailand in the final.