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Lilipaly scores late, sends Indonesia to semis

The Indonesian men’s football team squashed recent mishaps in their national football federation as Stephano Lilipaly scored in the 85th minute against Singapore, sending the Garudas to the semifinals of the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup, Friday evening at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

The Singaporeans were the ones who took the upper hand early as veteran Khairul Amri found the back of the net at the 27th minute.

The Lions were threatening at the start of the match, and the goal was the fruit of their hard labor. Safuwan Baharudin sent the ball to Amri’s direction and the scorer finished it with a beautiful scissor kick.

Nonetheless, Indonesia would not be denied of chances themselves with Lilipaly on attack mode.

The Singaporeans were fortunate to hang on to the slim 1-0 lead at the break.

With their backs against the wall, the Garudas pushed for the equalizer in the second half. Several chances came from Boaz Salossa and Lilipaly, but Sunny Hassan was there to deny these shots.

These momentum on the offense was just too much, and the Indonesians finally plucked the tying goal. The white-shirts took advantage of Singapore’s lax defense and scored with Andik Vermansyah in the 62nd minute.

Both teams tried to break the deadlock in the succeeding minutes, but to no avail.

It took another defensive lapse on the side of the 2012 champions to swing the match in favor of Indonesia. Boaz slipped unmarked on left side, sending it to Lilipaly. The forward then caught Hassan off guard with a lovely volley for the eventual winning goal.

Indonesia took the win and the three points, sending them back to the semifinals after finishing second in Group A. Singapore bows out of the group stage for the second consecutive edition.