JAKARTA: Malaysia scored a thrilling 3-2 comeback win over Indonesia in a World Cup qualifying match that was marred by crowd trouble at Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Thursday (Sep 5).
Both sides were playing their opening match in the second round of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup qualifiers when violence broke out in the second half.
After Malaysia scored to make it 2-2 in the 65th minute, an Indonesian fan ran across the pitch and threw an object towards the section where Malaysian fans were seated.
The match had to be stopped for about 10 minutes to allow security teams comprising the army and the police to control the situation.
The match resumed, and Malaysia scored their winner through Mohamadou Sumareh in the 96th minute.
This then kicked off another wave of trouble, as Malaysian fans in the stands were targeted by the locals in the stadium.
“Several Indonesian fans also tried to ram the Malaysian area and the match had to be stopped temporarily," said Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman on Twitter.
He added in Malay that flares, bottles and metal objects were hurled at the Malaysian fans.
Mr Syed Saddiq, who was seated with the Malaysian fans in the stadium, said he would lodge a formal protest with the Indonesia government.
For safety reasons, all 24 players and squad officials were put on the armoured vehicles and ferried back to their hotel.
Sources told Bernama that five armoured vehicles were used to transport the Malaysian players and officials to keep them safe from the home fans, with a bus also used as a decoy vehicle to distract their attention.
WIN BREAKS JAKARTA DROUGHT FOR HARIMAU MALAYA
The victory saw Malaysia finally ending its 15-year winless drought at the famous stadium with a reputation of being the fortress of the Garuda squad. Malaysia last beat Indonesia in 2004 with a 2-1 victory during the first leg of the AFF Cup semi-final.
Malaysia's first naturalised player, Sumareh, who came as a substitute, emerged the Harimau Malaya squad's hero when he scored two goals, first in the 37th minute before slotting in the winning goal in the dying minutes of added time in the second half.
Indonesia’s Brazilian born striker, Alberto Goncalves put the hosts ahead in the 12th minute after slotting in Saddil Ramdani's pass to beat national goalkeeper Mohd Farizal Marlias.
The 38-year-old Madura United striker then once again put Indonesia into a 2-1 lead in the 39th minute, just two minutes after Sumareh’s equaliser when he fired a long range shot to beat a hapless Mohd Farizal.
Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad scored the second goal with a glancing header from Muhammad Safawi Rasid’s cross in the 65th minute, before Sumareh’s winner deep into injury time secured all three points for the visitors.
In another Group G match on Thursday, Thailand were held to 0-0 draw against 2018 AFF Cup champions Vietnam at the Thammasat Stadium in Bangkok.