|Seeing Red: Indonesian fans celebrate their
side’s victory [AFP]
Indonesia forward Bambang Pamungkas’s second-half strike gave the Asian Cup co-hosts the perfect start to their campaign with a 2-1 victory over Bahrain in the Group D opener.
The home team opened the scoring in the 14th minute after midfielder Firman Utina threaded a defence-splitting pass through to Budi Sudarsono, who chested the ball beyond the goalkeeper and slotted home from inside the penalty area.
However Bahrain drew level before halftime when in the 27th minute a cross from the right ricocheted off several players before Sayed Mahmood Jalal tapped in from close range.
But Pamungkas, who had troubled the visitors with his trickery around the box, sealed Indonesia’s win 18 minutes into the second half when he blasted home a rebound after the Bahrain keeper could only parry a ferocious Utina shot onto the post.
South Korea and Saudi Arabia are the other teams in the group and play on Wednesday.