Indonesia's under-16 national team secured a 3-1 comeback win over East Timor in their 2018 Asian Football Confederation U-16 Championship prequalifying match in Thailand on Monday (18/09), with striker Sutan Diego Armando 'Zico' Ondriano being decisive with a hat-trick. (Photo courtesy of the PSSI)
Zico Hat-Trick Helps Indonesia See Off East Timor
BY :AMAL GANESHA
SEPTEMBER 19, 2017
Jakarta. Indonesia's under-16 national team secured a 3-1 comeback win over East Timor in their 2018 Asian Football Confederation U-16 Championship prequalifying match in Thailand on Monday (18/09), with striker Sutan Diego Armando "Zico" Ondriano being decisive with a hat-trick.
Zico, who scored five goals against the Northern Mariana Islands on Saturday, immediately made a difference after he was brought in by Indonesian coach Fachri Husaeni on the 46th minute to replace striker Amiruddin Alfikri, who did not seem to be productive enough.
Zico was unable to help as Indonesia conceded first in the match at Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium, with a goal by East Timor's Paulo Freitas in the 19th minute capitalizing on an error by defender Mochamad Febrian.
Before being replaced, Alfikri tapped in a goal a moment before the break, which found the net, but the assistant referee spotted him offside and the goal was disallowed.
East Timor had to play with 10 men after its goal scorer, Freitas, received a second yellow card from the referee in the 52nd minute, allowing Indonesia to dominate the game from then on.
The equalizer eventually came with Zico finishing a low drive after 61 minutes, putting his team in the lead two minutes later with another low drive finish.
Zico sealed his hat-trick in the 89th minute with a clinical finish, optimizing a through pass from teammate Hamsa Lestaluhu.
"Zico came in and everything changed; he is a game changer and still has a lot of room for improvement," coach Fachri said after the match, as quoted in a press release.
"He has good positioning and finishing. He also knows when to use power or brain," Fachri added, praising the 15-year-old who trains at Bina Taruna Football Academy in Jakarta.
Indonesia now tops Group G with six points after two matches. Each team in the group will play four matches in total and the winner will directly qualify for the championship, which will take place in Malaysia next year.
Fachri's squad will next face host Thailand on Wednesday.