Faizul inspires Malaysia to winBY RIZAL ABDULLAH
KUANTAN: Skipper Mohd Faizul Abdul Gaffar fired a brace as Malaysia rose to the occasion and gave their best display of the tournament to beat arch-rivals Indonesia 3-1 in a crucial match at the Asean Futsal Championship at the Sukpa Indoor Stadium here last night.
Faizul struck in the third and 29th minutes while Saiful Mohd Noor scored the third in the 35th minute for the win. Indonesia's goal was netted by Felix Arifin in the sixth minute.
The win puts Malaysia in the driving seat for a place in Sunday's final against favourites Thailand.
Malaysia only need a draw with Cambodia in their last match today to be sure of making the final.
Unbeaten Thailand, who will face whipping boys the Philippines today, have already booked their final ticket after thrashing Cambodia 13-4 in an earlier match yesterday.
Despite Brazilian coach Silvia Machado missing the match due to a one-match suspension, the hosts put up a gutsy display to deny Indonesia and avenged the 4-5 defeat in the bowl final at the recent Kuala Lumpur World 5s tournament.
Trainer Nelsom Rodrigues took over the coaching duties from Machado but it was the inspired performance of goalkeeper Zaidi Ramli that delighted the 600-odd home fans.
Faizul gave Malaysia the lead with a fierce left-foot shot soon after the opening whitle.
But three minutes later Indonesia drew level when an unmarked Felix gleefully punished the Malaysian defence with a shot on the turn.
Malaysia took to the pitch with renewed vigour after the break and regained the lead in the 29th minute when Faizul fooled Indonesian keeper Listiyanto Raharjo with an unexpected stinging shot from outside the semi-circle.
Two minutes later Malaysia lost the influential Zaidi after a clash of heads with Felix. Zaidi was treated for a cut on his head and was substituted by reserve goalkeeper Deva Hamnshullradesh.
Deva showed a steady pair of hands and Malaysia increased their lead through Saiful when Indonesia were reduced to four men after Vennard Vito was booked for a second time.
Thailand's big win came courtesy of Sermphan Kumthinkaew's four goals.
Skipper Anucha Munjarern, Joe Nuengkord, Jadet Punpoem and Prasert Innui hit a brace each while Pongpipat Kamnuan scored once.
Cambodia’s goals came from skipper Chan Arunreath and Chan Veasna, who each scored twice.
In the first match yesterday, the Philippines scored their first win in the tournament, beating Brunei 4-2 with a hat-trick by Jimmy Dona (10th, 33rd and 38th minutes) and one goal from Roger Lastimado (39th).
Brunei, who were edged 4-5 by Malaysia on Thursday, replied through Awangku Mohammad Shahril (13th) and Norazmiezul Maipaizan Amidon (18th).