The match between Indonesia and Thailand in the men’s football final at the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia was filled with back-to-back drama.
But it was the Indonesians who eventually emerged on top with a 5-2 victory.
The first half of the game saw Indonesia taking the lead with two goals from striker Ramadhan Sananta.
The second half brought more tension when Thailand’s Anan Yodsangwal pulled one back for his side with a goal in the 65th minute.
Indonesia thought they had already won, but the match was not over
Things took a dramatic turn towards the end of the match, when seven additional minutes of stoppage time was given.
In the 98th minute, the referee blew the whistle for a free kick for Thailand. However, the Indonesians mistook the whistle for the final whistle.
The Indonesian coach and staff were seen running to the pitch to celebrate. Several Indonesian players also joined in.
The referee then pointed to the free kick spot, signalling that he had given a free kick to the Thais and that the match will go on, much to the Indonesians’ frustrations.
Thailand’s late equaliser led to a brawl
Thailand quickly took the free kick in an attempt to find a late equaliser.
The ball was crossed into the penalty box and substite Yotsakorn Burapha found the back of the net, extending Indonesia’s nightmare.
While Yotsakorn was celebrating the goal with his teammates, some Thai staff members and players on the bench charged over to their opponent’s side to gloat.
This caused the first brawl of the match.
Players and coaching staff from both sides got involved in the fight, and authorities quickly stepped in to disperse the crowd.
The match’s second half ended at the 10th additional minute, and the game continued to extra time.
Indonesia’s goal in extra time sparked another brawl
Barely a minute into extra time, Indonesia’s Irfan Jauhari scored a goal to put his side back in the lead.
It was this goal that triggered a second, more serious brawl.
The Indonesia bench had returned the favour by gloating in celebration in front of their opponents.
Fights immediately ensued between players and staff from both sides.
Several punches and kicks were exchanged, and authorities intervened again in an attempt to stop the brawl.
Thailand’s goalkeeper Soponwit Rakyart was seen delivering a punch to an Indonesian player, before he was pulled away by security.
An Indonesian staff member who had blood at the corner of his mouth appeared unsteady, and needed support to stand up straight.
A video on Twitter showed another Indonesian staff lying unconscious on the ground.
🟥 𝟟 𝕣𝕖𝕕 𝕔𝕒𝕣𝕕𝕤 𝕚𝕟 𝟙 𝕞𝕒𝕥𝕔𝕙!
The melee between Thailand 🇹🇭 and Indonesian 🇮🇩 players and staff at the 2023 SEA Games final. 😱#SEAGames2023 #Cambodia2023 #THAvIND pic.twitter.com/45tDdAi1CG
— KRIDA Football (@KRIDAFootball) May 16, 2023
Red cards galore
The referee subsequently talked to the coaches from both sides, and managed to regain control of the match.
He also gave out red cards, one for Thai keeper Soponwit and another for Indonesia’s Komang Teguh Trisnanda.
Several other staff from both sides were also told to return to the changing room.
The match resumed shortly after, with both sides down to 10 men each.
But in the 101st minute, Thailand’s Jonathan Khemdee received his second yellow card and was sent off.
About five minutes after, Indonesia’s Fajar Fathur Rachman scored from the edge of the box, bringing the scoreline to 4-2.
In the 118th minute, Thailand’s striker Teerasak was sent off after receiving his second yellow, and Thailand was left with only eight men on the pitch.
This made things easier for the Indonesians, who secured their victory with a fifth goal, courtesy of their midfielder Beckham Putra.
Here are the full highlights from the game:
First SEA Games football gold medal in 32 years
With this win, Indonesia was awarded the gold medal in the men’s football at the 32nd SEA Games.
This is their first SEA Games men’s football gold medal in 32 years.
Back in Indonesia, fans across the country basked in the glory as they cheered and sang out loud in celebration.
Final Sea Games 2023 Men Football Indonesia vs Thailand 5 – 2 #SEAGames2023Cambodia
Rolling Thunder At Bunderan HI Jakarta#Wasit #gojek #jirayut #selebrasi #RizkyRidho pic.twitter.com/N2BcyKkx7k
— satriaselalubenar (@satriapratamass) May 16, 2023
Some fans also set off smoke bombs and flares to celebrate.
Suksma Garuda Juara SEA Games 2023 🏆🇮🇩
Suasana nobar bersama Ultras Garuda Bali 🔥 pic.twitter.com/bTgwgC2R1p
— Bali Football (@Bali_Football) May 16, 2023
the wait is over, it’s time to celebrate kids, Alhamdulillah, Indonesia Juara 🇮🇩👑 pic.twitter.com/xbAG7m9Uut
— 𝕻𝖗𝖎𝖓𝖈𝖊 𝕮𝖆𝖘𝖕𝖎𝖆𝖓 (@kencilii) May 16, 2023
Top images via ESPN Asia/Twitter & KRIDAFootball/Twitter.