By Ivan Saldajeno
BINAN--Indonesia scored a much needed 8-0 blowout win against Brunei to get some upper hand in the playoff race for Group B in the Southeast Asian Games men's football competition at the Binan Football Stadium on Tuesday night.
Osvaldo Haay's hat trick and Egy Maulana's brace set the tone for Indonesia as the team now owns the goal difference tiebreaker over Thailand in the race for the second spot with one matchday left in the group stages.
Haay scored first for Indonesia with an 11th minute goal, but it took 29 minutes before Maulana added the team's second goal. Haay then netted Indonesia's third goal just before halftime.
The floodgates suddenly opened early into the second half, in the 50th minute in particular, when Saddil Ramdani made it 4-0 for Indonesia.
Substitute Witan Sulaeman then created instant impact for Indonesia as he scored in the 68th minute before Haay completed his hat trick in the 72nd minute
Skipper Andy Setyo added another goal in the 77th minute, and Maulana capped the rout with an 80th minute strike.
With Thailand only putting up a 2-0 win against Laos earlier Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, Indonesia, at plus-11 now has a better goal difference than Thailand (plus-10), and Indonesia now has some control of its playoff ahead of the final matchday of the group stages on Thursday.
However, both Indonesia and Thailand have an outright shot of even taking the top seed in Group B as Vietnam could only score a 1-0 win against also-ran Singapore in a showdown also at the Rizal Memorial Stadium that started simultaneously with the Indonesia-Brunei match.
Ha Duc Chinh's 85th minute header was all that mattered for Vietnam as it evaded potentially a goalless draw that would hamper its semifinal bid significantly.
With Vietnam facing Thailand on Matchday 5, a three-way tie for first place at 12 points each remains a possibility.
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