AFC Asian Cup: Indonesia shock Bahrain, China put five past Malaysia

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Co-hosts Indonesia have defeated Bahrain 2-1 in their opening 2007 AFC Asian Cup Group D fixture.

Cheered on by 60,000 predominantly-Indonesian fans at the Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia took the lead in the fourteenth minute through Budi Sudarsono.

Sudarsono received a lofted ball from midfield and pushed his first touch around the advancing Bahrain goalkeeper, Abdul Rahman Ahmed. Left with an open goal, the Indonesian striker calmly slotted home the first goal of the match.

Bahrain equalised thirteen minutes later when midfielder Sayed Mahmood Jalal prodded the ball into the back of the net. After a curling cross from the right-hand side, the Indonesian defence failed to clear, and the ball found its' way through the goalline scramble for Jalal to score.

The scores remained 1-1 until half time, however Indonesia took the lead again on sixty-four minutes. Midfielder Firman Utina drove a low, hard shot towards the Bahrain goal from 30 yards out, forcing a low save by Bahrain goalkeeper Ahmed. Ahmed's save rebounded onto the post and back out towards the penalty spot, where Bambang Pamungkas charged onto the loose ball and placed it in the top-right hand corner of the net.

Indonesia sit atop the Group D table after just the one match, with Iran and Uzbekistan playing the second match in the group.

In Group C, Malaysia became the only of the four co-hosts not to take any points from their first Group Stage match when they lost to China 5-1.

Striker Han Peng and midfielder Wang Dong both scored doubles for the visitors at the Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, taking them to equal leaders of the individual goalscoring list.

Han Peng got China's first in the fifteenth minute when he headed home a cross from the right-hand wing. Midfielder Shao Jiayi got their second after thirty-six minutes, when a pass cut back from near the goal-line reached him on the far post after leaving the Malaysian goalkeeper Azizon Abdul Kadir stranded. The score remained at 2-0 at half time.

Six minutes after the break, Wang Dong got his first of two goals when his shot from twenty yards was deflected, again leaving the Malaysian goalkeeper stranded going in the wrong direction. Han Peng got his second only four minutes later, after he got on the end of a cross from the right-hand wing by midfielder Mao Jianqing.

Malaysia made the score 4-1 after Indra Putra Mahayuddin scored from 25 yards. After receiving a lay-off from Hairuddin Omar, Indra Putra sent a curling strike past outstretched Chinese goalkeeper Li Leilei and into the bottom of the net.

Wang Dong completed his double in the ninety-third and final minute of the match, with a looping header over the Malaysian goalkeeper. The pass to Wang Dong, a lofted ball from outside the penalty area, drew 'keeper Kadir off his line to allow Wang Dong to head over and into the goal.

As with Indonesia, China now sit atop Group C with a good goal difference. The other Group C teams are Korea Republic play Saudi Arabia, who will play at the same stadium twenty-four hours after the China-Malaysia game.


Sources

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