Indonesia scored twice in extra time to overcome eight-man Singapore 4-2 at the city state’s National Stadium on Saturday, as they reached the AFF Suzuki Cup final for the sixth time.
The hosts wasted an opportunity to win the semi-final when Faris Ramli missed a stoppage-time penalty and Indonesia capitalised in the extra 30 minutes as Irfan Jaya and Egy Maulana Vikri netted against the tiring Lions.
The Indonesians have never won the competition, but they will get their chance to end their drought in this week’s final against Thailand or Vietnam.
The Thais hold a two-goal lead after the first leg of that tie.
Following a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Indonesia took the lead after 11 minutes when Witan Sulaeman capitalised on poor defending to square the ball for Ezra Walian to tap home.
Ricky Kambuaya shot just over the crossbar and Ramai Rumakiek’s free-kick was stopped by Hassan Sunny as the Garuda tried to build on their advantage.
Singapore suffered a huge blow in stoppage time when Safuwan Baharudin was controversially sent off after he was shown a second yellow card following a tussle with an Indonesian defender.
But the Lions immediately got back on level terms as Indonesia struggled to clear Shahdan Sulaiman’s free-kick and Song Ui-young fired home after a goalmouth scramble.
Indonesia nearly restored their lead when Rizky Ridho fired against the crossbar on the hour and they received a further boost when Irfan Fandi also received a red card for bringing down Irfan Jaya as he bore down on goal.
But Singapore’s nine men rose to the occasion and went ahead in the 74th minute when Shahdan Suleiman curled in a superb free-kick from 20 metres.
Indonesia capitalised on their two-man advantage as Pratama Arhan scrambled the ball home three minutes from time to level the score once again.
Singapore still had a chance to win the game in regulation time when they awarded a last-minute penalty, but Faris’ tame effort was kept out by goalkeeper Nadeo Argawinata.
The home side would rue that missed opportunity as Irfan turned the ball in from close range in the first minute of extra-time before Egy added another at the end of the first period to put Indonesia two goals up.
The home side battled gallantly but they were reduced to eight men when Hassan was sent off in the final minute of extra time for a foul outside his box.