The Indonesian Under-19 team staged a fabulous fightback to hold their Saudi Arabian counterparts to a 3-3 draw in their third and final friendly in Croatia last night.
The performance was certainly a marked improvement from the squad following earlier disappointments – a 3-0 loss to Bulgaria and then a 7-1 defeat at the hands of Croatia.
But last night, the young Indonesian team under Shin Tae-yong was determined not to let it slip even though they found themselves trailing 3-1 at the half.
After some near misses, Saudi Arabia grabbed the opening goal in the 26th minute through a Khalil Alabsi penalty as they then doubled the advantage with a second penalty off Mohammed Marran five minutes later.
Essa Althekralla then breached Muhammad Adi Satryo’s goal for the third time in the 37th minute before Indonesia managed to pull a goal back off Irfan Jauhari in injury time.
Indonesia stormed back into the second half with their second goal of the game through Saddam Emirudin Gaffar in the 52nd minute as it pushed the Saudi’s to more offensive positions.
And while they came close on several occasions, it was Indonesia who would have the final say when Braif Fatari slotted home the equaliser right at the end.
“We were down by three goals at one time but the players showed a lot of heart to draw this game,” said Braif afterwards.