AFC Asian Cup: Saudi Arabia edge out Indonesia, Uzbekistan trounce Malaysia

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Saudi Arabia has scored in injury time to defeat Indonesia 2-1 in their 2007 AFC Asian Cup Group D fixture.

Saudi Arabia took the lead after twelve minutes, when Yasser Al-Qahtani headed home a cross from the right hand side of the field by Ahmed Al Bahri. His header was driven low and to the left of the Indonesian goalkeeper Yandri Christian Pitoy, who dived but failed to get his right hand to the ball.

Indonesia struck back and levelled eight minutes later, when Elie Aiboy rounded Saudi goalkeeper Yasser Al Mosailem and calmly slotted the ball into the empty net. Elie received a through-ball from Budi Sudarsono and kept his composure, going to the left of the advancing goalkeeper and taking an extra touch before putting the ball into the back of the net.

Both goalkeepers made saves to keep their sides level, with Mosailem making two late in the first half to keep Saudi Arabia level at the break. Pitoy made a couple of excellent saves late in the second half, and Indonesian defender Maman Abdurrahman made a precise sliding tackle to stop a one-on-one opportunity for Al Qahtani on seventy-eight minutes.

The 88,000 predominantly-Indonesian fans inside the Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta were silenced by a Saad Al-Harthi goal in the ninety-second minute. A swinging free kick from the left hand side saw Al-Harthi leap and head the ball beyond goalkeeper Pitoy's grasp to give Saudi Arabia all three points and the lead of Group D. Korea Republic play Bahrain this afternoon (UTC) in the fourth Group D fixture.

In Group C, Uzbekistan has defeat Malaysia 5-0 at the Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur. It is Malaysia's second consecutive five-goal defeat, after they lost to China 5-1 in their other Group C fixture.

Maksim Shatskikh opened the scoring after ten minutes with a back-post header. Timur Kapadze then doubled Uzbekistan's advantage on twenty-nine minutes, before Ulugbek Bakaev converted a penalty kick just before half time to make the score 3-0.

After the break, Malaysia dug in and didn't concede again for forty minutes. On eighty-five minutes, Aziz Ibragimov broke through to score. Shatskikh completed his double and the 5-0 result in the eighty-ninth minute

The result leaves Uzbekistan on top of Group C on three points, equal with China and Iran. The latter two play each other this afternoon (UTC).

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