In a thrilling showdown at the Olympic National Stadium in Phnom Penh on Tuesday night, the Indonesian U-22 national team secured a resounding 5-2 victory over Thailand in the men’s football final of the 2023 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. The exhilarating match witnessed incredible goals, intense battles, and a series of dramatic moments that captivated fans across the region.
From the early stages of the game, it was evident that both teams were determined to claim the coveted gold medal. Indonesia took the lead in the 20th minute when Ramadhan Sananta brilliantly headed the ball into the net, capitalizing on a long throw-in from Alfeandra Dewangga.
The opening goal came from a well-executed throw-in by Dewangga on the right side of the attacking area. Sananta’s header found its way towards the Thai goal but deflected off the thigh of Songchai Thongcham, the Thai defender, and ended up in their own net.
In the 45th+4 minute, Indonesia doubled their lead to 2-0 through another goal from Sananta. Rizky Ridho delivered a precise long pass, and Sananta cleverly directed his shot past the Thai goalkeeper. Despite protests from the Thai players, the goal was deemed valid by the referee.
The first half ended with Indonesia maintaining their 2-0 advantage over Thailand in the final.
The second half witnessed a fiercely contested battle as both teams exchanged attacks and sought to gain the upper hand. In the 66th minute, Thailand managed to reduce the deficit to 2-1 with a headed goal from Anan Yodsangwal, who connected with a corner kick from his teammate.
As the match approached its final moments, Thailand staged a remarkable comeback in the 90th+8 minute, equalizing the score at 2-2 with a goal from Yotsakon. The match extended into extra time, intensifying the anticipation for both sets of fans.
Indonesia quickly regained their lead at the beginning of extra time, as Irfan Jauhari netted a goal in the 92nd minute. The Indonesian team created several golden opportunities to extend their advantage, with Marselino Ferdinan coming close in the 105th minute, narrowly missing the target on the right side of the Thai goal.
In the second half of extra time, Fajar Fathur Rahman capitalized on a gap in the Thai defense, striking the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper Thirawoot Sraunson to make it 4-2 in favor of Indonesia. Thailand’s hopes of a comeback were further dashed when Anan received his second yellow card, reducing Thailand to ten men.
With the Indonesian team capitalizing on their numerical advantage, Beckham Putra Nugraha sealed the victory in the dying moments of extra time, scoring the fifth goal and sealing a remarkable 5-2 win.
As the final whistle blew, no further goals were scored by either team. Indonesia emerged triumphant with a dominant 5-2 victory over Thailand, securing the gold medal in the men’s football competition of the SEA Games 2023.
The match will be remembered not only for the impressive scoreline but also for the chaotic scenes that unfolded during the game. Tempers flared, leading to a clash between the benches of both teams.
The Indonesian manager even found himself in the midst of the commotion, enduring a kick to the backside. While unfortunate, these incidents do not overshadow the achievement of the Indonesian team in claiming the gold medal.
The victory marks a significant milestone for Indonesian football to solidify their place in history as champions of the SEA Games 2023 football competition, the first since 1991.