Indonesia floor Myanmar to take bronze

Indonesia produced a remarkable fightback at the MP Selayang Stadium on Tuesday to beat Myanmar 3-1 and claim the bronze medal at the 2017 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

It was Myanmar who were initially headed for victory in the third place playoff after Than Paing fired them ahead in the 22nd minute.

However, two goals in four minutes from Evan Dimas and Septian Maulana saw the Indonesians turn the tie on its head, before Rezaldi Hehanusa added a third to make sure of the win.

Claiming bronze was a fitting end to what ultimately proved to be an impressive campaign for Indonesia, who were not widely expected to even advance from the group stage.

On the other hand, Myanmar had entered the SEA Games as one of the favourites and were – at the very least – looking for a third-place finish as consolation.

For awhile, it did look as though they would be achieving just that.

They were the better side in the opening exchanges and came close when Hlaing Bo Bo hit the post in the 18th minute, before Than Paing had two attempts in quick succession smartly saved by Satria Tama.

There was to be no denying them from breaking the deadlock four minutes later; Than Paing latching onto Maung Maung Lwin’s cut-back and confidently finishing into the back of the net.

Than Paing nearly turned provider eight minutes after the restart when he released Aung Thu, but Satria rushed off his line and bravely dived at the striker’s feet to halt the threat.

And, in the 56th minute, the Indonesian goalkeeper’s intervention proved crucial as his side pulled level.

The Myanmar defence should have done better to deal with Febri Haryadi’s delivery but it was clearly only as far as to Evan, who skipped inside Bo Bo before squeezing his shot past Sann Sat Naing.

Just three minutes later, the Indonesians found themselves in the lead thanks to Maulana, who was found by Osvaldo Haay outside the area and proceeded to curl a lovely left-footed effort into the bottom corner.

It was now Myanmar’s turn to produce a response and they came close eight minutes after the hour mark, but Aung Kaung Mann could not capitalise on a loose ball after Satria had saved Than Paing’s initial effort.

Any hopes they had of getting back into the tie were then ended in the 76th minute courtesy of a Hehanusa stunner, as he brought the ball down from the sky, turned his man before unleashing a rocket into the top corner.

Adding insult to injury, Myanmar then had Nan Wai Min sent off in injury-time for a second bookable offence, although it mattered little at that point as Indonesia were deserving victors come the final whistle soon after.

INDONESIA: Satria Tama, Gavin Kwan Adsit, Hansamu Yama, Andy Setyo (Rezaldi Hehanusa 29’), Ricky Fajrin, Muhammad Hargianto, Evan Dimas, Osvaldo Haay, Septian Maulana (Ryuji Utomo 83’), Febri Haryadi, Marinus Wanewar (Ezra Walian 46’).

MYANMAR: Sann Sat Naing, Nan Wai Min, Htike Htike Aung, Thiha Htet Aung, Hein Thiha Zaw, Yan Naing Oo, Hlaing Bo Bo, Maung Maung Lwin (Aung Kaung Mann 65’), Aung Thu, Sithu Aung, Than Paing.