Saudi Arabia sees off Indonesia

Star striker Yousep Mansour helped secure Saudi Arabia a 2-1 win in a 2015 Asian Cup qualifier against Indonesia.

The teams were neck and neck at 1-1 for more than 30 minutes until half-time, but Mansour powerfully planted home a goal in the 56th minute to bring the score to 2-1 after a swift pass from midfield.

Saudi Arabia dominated the second half, the Green Falcons regularly breaking through the sea of red jerseys to the penalty box, keeping goalkeeper Kurnia Meiga busy.

Torrential rain poured throughout the entire match, but the rain did not keep fans away, with the cavernous 80,000-seat stadium in the Indonesian capital Jakarta packed.

Fans roared when captain Boaz Solossa scored the opener in the fifth minute to stun Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia equalised in the 14th minute through Yahia Sulaiman, who netted a diving header that left Meiga face down in the mud.

"For sure, Indonesia's goal pushed our team a lot to work harder, and as a result we won 2-1. Both teams played well and showed sportsmanship," Saudi Arabia coach Juan Ramon Lopez Caro told reporters after the match.

"Every match is a final, so all players must be disciplined," said the former Real Madrid coach through an Indonesian translator.

Despite the loss, the score is a respectable one for the home team, which has been dogged by politics in Indonesian football that had left some of its star players on the bench indefinitely.

Those players were welcomed back this week after Indonesia evaded sanctions from FIFA, finally agreeing to dissolve a rebel league that could have seen the national team barred from competition.

The match brings Saudi Arabia to six points, with a 2-1 victory over China claimed in February.

The 16-team finals will take place in Australia in January 2015.

Source AFP