Bandung- The Malaysian Under-23 exited the Menpora Cup 2013 on a positive note when they beat former Indonesian Super League (ISL) champions Sriwijaya FC 4-2. here on Tuesday (24 Sept)
Thamil Arasu got an early goal in the 12th minute before Sriwijaya replied with the equalizer in the 26th minute through Alan Marta.
D. Saarvindran then regained the lead for the Malaysians with the second goal in the 35th minute as Tantan then made sure that both teams are on level terms at the break with Srwijaya’s second equalizer just before the break.
Into the second half, the Malaysian lads then made it tight at the back as Rozaimi Abdul Rahman struck twice in the 50th and 56th minute to make sure that they pick up their first win of the competition.
Both the Malaysian U23 and Sriwijaya, which had featured players like veteran Ponaryo Astaman and Isnan Ali, are already out of the competition with the final slated for 28 Sept 2013.
The Malaysians opened their campaign with a 2-2 draw against hosts Persib Banding before going down 2-0 to Central Coast Mariners
Meanwhile, Australia’s Central Coast Mariners coasted to the final of the Menpora Cup 2013 despite being held to a 3-3 draw by hosts Persib Bandung in the crucial, final Group A game, on Tuesday at the Jalak Harupat Stadium.
The draw gave the Australian side seven points from three matches after beating Sriwijaya FC and also the Malaysian Under-23 team with a 2-0 score line from their earlier matches. Persib finished the group stage on second with five points from two draws and one win (2-1 over Sriwijaya).
And this evening, the A-League Finals Series champions began brightly when Nick Fitzgerald slotted home from a defensive mistake early in the third minute.
But the lead lasted less than five minutes when Kenji Adachihara squeezed in the equalizer before Mbida Messi then lobbed the ball in from some 25metres out to give Persib the lead on 14 minutes.
However, Marcos Flores would make sure that Central Coast Mariners are on top at the end of the first round with two well-taken strikes in the 19th and 38th minute.
The loss of Flores to a red card offense in the 84th minute gave Persib the numerical advantage and deep in injury time, they nailed the all-important equalizer through Luiz Moraes for the one point.