AFF Suzuki Cup: Indonesia upbeat about title chances after stunning Thailand in Bogor

Indonesia will travel to Bangkok for AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 final second leg on 17 December.

Evan Dimas
Can Indonesia stun Thailand again on Saturday? Reuters

Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl and star midfielder Stefano Lilipaly expressed confidence that their side has it in them to turn the first leg advantage into a first AFF Suzuki Cup title.

The Garudas came back from behind to seal a 2-1 stunning win against the Southeast Asian giants in front of a packed crowd at the Pakansari Stadium in Bogor. The defending champions dominated the first half and things were going according to their plan when Teerasil Dangda put the visitors in the front in the 33rd minute.

Nothing seemed to work for Alfred Riedl's men, who also lost star winger Andik Vermansyah in the first half to injury, until the 65th minute when Rizki Pora netted in the equaliser. In the next five minutes, Hansamu Pratana scored another to give the hosts the lead.

A one-goal advantage will give the Indonesians a lot of confidence heading into the second leg, which will be played in Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium on 17 December. However, Riedl's camp should be wary of playing the second leg away from home as the Thais have had good results at home in the recent past, which includes a 2-2 draw against Asian champions Australia in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers and a 4-0 thrashing of Myanmar in the ongoing tournament's semi-final second leg.

Riedl reportedly conceded that his side did not play up to the mark in the first half and credited Rizki for scoring the goal that, according to him, "changed the pace of the game". The Austrian tactician though is wary of Thailand, who have it in them to overturn the deficit, especially after Teerasil scored the crucial away goal.

"We go to Bangkok with the lead, so, of course, we have the chance to become champions. But we cannot underestimate Thailand. They are after all the best team in Southeast Asia," Riedl said, as quoted by the ESPN.

Indonesia have so far scored two goals in every match in the ongoing tournament so far and Lilipaly believes that the trend will continue when they travel to Bangkok for the return leg. Notably, the 26-year-old, who has scored two goals so far, has combined well with captain Boaz Solossa (3) to contribute to the team's inspiring run, which was largely unexpected given that they had very little time to prepare for the Asean tournament as their Fifa ban was only lifted in May 2016.

"We have scored two goals in every game. Hopefully we can repeat that performance, score another two goals to bring home the title," Lilipaly added.

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