Indonesia overcome herculean effort from eight-man Singapore to reach AFF Suzuki Cup final

Indonesia are through to the final of AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 but not before having to overcome a herculean effort from eight-man Singapore, claiming a 4-2 win in Saturday's semifinal second leg at the National Stadium to advance 5-3 on aggregate.

Despite having both Safuwan Baharudin and Irfan Fandi sent off by the 67th minute, the Lions incredibly were leading 2-1 and, following an Indonesian equaliser in the 87th minute, then had a golden opportunity to win at when they were awarded a penalty just before the end.

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But Faris Ramli's effort was saved by Nadeo Argawinata, sending the game to extra-time where Indonesia's numerical advantage ultimately proved telling as they went on to seal the win through a Shawal Anuar own-goal and a strike by Egy Maulana, before the hosts had a third man red carded as goalkeeper Hassan Sunny was dismissed for a last-man foul.

The manner of the defeat would have undoubtedly been tough for Singapore to swallow given Safuwan's first yellow card looked to have been a harsh decision, while replays showed that Indonesia's second goal had been offside.

Nonetheless, a stoic Tatsuma Yoshida preferred to focus on what was ultimately a positive campaign from his charges as they reached the Suzuki Cup semis for the first time since 2012.

"All that matters in the match is the result. For that, I have no complaints or excuses," said the Japanese tactician.

"We need the referees in order to have good matches. During the match, of course we may dispute their decisions but, after the game, we should accept it even though it might be difficult.

"All I want to say to everyone involved in Singapore football is to trust themselves. I always tell my boys to believe in themselves.

"Before the match, I told my players not to miss this opportunity to reach the final. They responded in the form of their performance -- it was their best performance since I came to Singapore.

"I'm proud of all of them and I have no words. I was moved by their fighting spirit and this never-give-up mentality is the most important if we want to improve."