The 2019 AFC Cup has had some high-scoring matches. And another one was in store when PSM Makassar met Lao Toyota in a Group H match. The two sides shared ten goals between them, with the former contributing to seven of those. Here are five things we observed during the match.
#1 Early goals
AFC Cup 2019: PSM Makassar 1-0 Lao Toyota FC – Wiljan Pluim (12′)
An early goal in a football match is always a good sign for the fans watching. It opens the game right from the beginning, as both sides are forced to re-think their game plan.
Something similar happened today when PSM Makassar met Lao Toyota in their second AFC Cup group game. However, this time, the fans were given a lot more to cheer about in the early stages, as they witnessed three goals being scored before the midway point of the first half!
PSM struck first with captain Wiljan Pluim scoring the opener. However, Lao Toyota responded a minute later, when Kazuo Homma wrestled his way past two defenders to score.
The Indonesian side then retook the lead in the twenty-first minute, courtesy of Zulham Zamrun, who combined brilliantly with Eero Markkanen to score a stunning goal.
#2 Big misses
AFC Cup 2019: PSM Makassar 3-1 Lao Toyota FC – Wiljan Pluim (59′)
When the referee blew his whistle for halftime, the scoreline read two-one in favour of PSM Makassar. The Indonesian side had taken the lead courtesy of Zulham Zamrun’s twenty-first-minute strike. However, they could’ve killed the game by the end of the half, had they only taken their chances.
Eero Markkanen was guilty of spurning two great opportunities for the home side after he hit the crossbar and the post within a period of ten minutes.
Midfielder Marc Klok, meanwhile, was also given a chance to extend PSM’s lead just before the halftime whistle, after he volunteered to take a penalty kick. Klok missed, however, before the follow up was sent wayward by Aaron Evans.
#3 Markkanen gets his goals
AFC Cup 2019: PSM Makassar 5-1 Lao Toyota FC – Eero Markkanen (70′)
Eero Markkanen has been a revelation so far for PSM Makassar. The Finnish striker signed for the club from Dalkurd FF back in January 2019 and has settled in well.
Markkanen was handed two great opportunities in the first half to extend PSM’s lead. However, the 27-year-old spurned both, hitting one on to the crossbar and the second on to the post. He then missed another sitter early in the second half, after he deflected a cross just wide of the post. However, there was to be some justice for Markkanen after all, as he ended up scoring two quick-fire goals.
The Finnish striker headed in his first in the sixty-first minute before stroking one past the goalkeeper in the seventieth minute, making it five-one in favour of his team.
#4 Screamers alert
AFC Cup 2019: PSM Makassar 7-2 Lao Toyota FC – Marc Klok (85′)
This AFC Cup 2019 match had it all. A plethora of goals, some really bad misses, and some delightful goals.
The first one came through Zulham Zamrun after he played a brilliant one-two with Eero Markkanen before smashing the ball home. Meanwhile, Lao Toyota had one scorcher in store themselves, which was unleashed by Rafael in the seventy-sixth minute, after he curled one past the goalkeeper from distance.
However, the best goal of the night came via Marc Klok of PSM, after the midfielder struck home a beautiful volley from outside the penalty box.
#5 Where’s the defence?
AFC Cup 2019: PSM Makassar 7-3 Lao Toyota FC – Kazuo Homma (90′)
In a match which saw ten goals, one could only be left with a single question: Where were the two defences?
While a ten-goal thriller is enjoyable for fans and neutrals alike, the coaching units of both teams will now have to sit back and rethink their defensive strategies. Not only did the two defences concede a combined ten goals, but they also allowed the forwards to waltz past them time and again.
The biggest example of this came in the eightieth minute when substitute Ferdinand Sinaga ran in between three defenders, all of whom failed to make a tackle! Ferdinand then put the ball past the goalkeeper to give PSM a 6-2 lead.
Lao Toyota also took advantage of weak defending at times. Kazuo Homma was the biggest beneficiary as he glided past the defence on two separate occasions, before converting both chances.