International media based in Southeast Asia have also highlighted the success of the Indonesian national team in winning the gold medal at the 2023 SEA Games. The Indonesian U22 national team emerged as the champion of the 2023 SEA Games Cambodia men’s football.
In the final match of the 2023 SEA Games men’s football which was held on Tuesday (16/5/2023) evening local time, Indonesia successfully defeated Thailand. Competing at the Olympic Stadium, Phnom Penh, the Indonesian U22 national team managed to beat Thailand with a score of 5-2 in extra time.
Ramadhan Sananta scored two goals for Indonesia, each in the 21st minute and 45+5. The other three Garuda Muda goals were scored by Irfan Jauhari (91′), Fajar Fathur Rahman (107′), and Beckham Putra Nugraha (120′). Meanwhile, two goals from Thailand were scored by Anan Yodsangwal (65′) and Yotsakorn Burapha (90’+7).
The “crazy” final
The Indonesia vs Thailand match in the 2023 SEA Games men’s soccer final was indeed tense. The coach of the Indonesian U22 national team, Indra Sjafri, celebrated too early, even though the referee had not yet blown the long whistle to signal the end of the match. Not long after, the Indonesian players lost focus and Thailand was able to equalize the score right in the last minute of second half injury time.
When Indonesia scored the third goal through the action of Irfan Jauhari in extra time, chaos then erupted on the bench. During the chaos, the manager of the Indonesian U22 national team, Sumardji, was seen slammed by a Thai team official. Referee Matar Ali Al Hatmi Qasim from Oman then gave a red card to Garuda Muda defender Komang Teguh Trisnanda, as well as the Thai goalkeeper Soponwit Rakyart and two of their officials.
ESPN Asia through its tweet on Twitter called the final match between Indonesia vs Thailand at the 2023 SEA Games a “crazy” match. They also regretted that the match was marred by dishonorable actions. “Absolutely crazy men’s soccer final at the 32nd SEA Games, which ended up being ugly. It finally resulted in Indonesia winning the gold medal with a 5-2 victory over Thailand in extra time,” wrote ESPN Asia.
The end of Garuda’s wait
Apart from highlighting the incident of chaos that occurred in the Indonesia vs Thailand match, other Southeast Asian media also discussed the success of the Garuda Muda squad in ending the SEA Games gold medal drought. The victory in the final this time made Indonesia end the 32-year fasting for the SEA Games men’s soccer gold medal. The last time the Indonesian national team triumphed at the SEA Games was in the 1991 edition in Manila, Philippines.
“Indonesia beat Thailand to break the SEA Games gold medal drought,” wrote the Channel News Asia page. “SEA Games 2023: The commotion peaked when Indonesia beat Thailand to win gold in men’s soccer after 32 years,” wrote The Straits Times.
The victory in the final this time has indeed made Indonesia end the 32-year fasting for the SEA Games men’s soccer gold medal. The last time the Indonesian national team triumphed at the SEA Games was in the 1991 edition in Manila, Philippines. Now, after more than three decades, the Garuda squad has finally returned to bring home the SEA Games gold medal to Indonesia.