Indonesia returned to their first AFF Suzuki Cup Final since 2010 after a stunning 2-2 draw against shorthanded Vietnam in Hanoi.
A raucous atmosphere at My Dinh National Stadium greeted the hosts, who came into the match needing to overcome a 2-1 defeat in the first leg.
And indeed Vietnam put plenty of pressure on the opposing goal in the opening stages, with captain Le Cong Vinh and Nguyen Van Quyet leading the charge to create multiple chances in the final third.
As fans lit fireworks along the back stand, a clever slide by Indonesia goalkeeper Kurnia Hermansyah denied Vinh a prime opportunity from close range in the 21st minute. Kurnia remained composed thereafter, deftly managing his teammates through a barrage of dangerous scenes for the rest of the first half.
The second half resumed as the first ended, with Vietnam maintaining pressure. Nguyen Van Toan’s long-range effort in the 50th minute had plenty of power but went low and wide of the far post.
Things took a turn for the worse in the 54th minute when Boas Solossa’s cross was mis-cleared by Tran Dinh Dong over his own goal line, with Indonesia’s Stefano Lilipaly given credit for giving his side not only a 3-1 aggregate advantage but an all-important away goal.
With 14 minutes left on the clock, Vietnam’s finals hopes continued to unravel when goalkeeper Tran Nguyen Manh was shown a straight red card, forcing Que Ngoc Hai to wear the gloves for the remainder of the match as coach Nguyen Hu Thang had used his final substitute just two minutes earlier.
But after Vu Van Thanh pulled one goal back on a set piece in the 83rd minute, Vietnam rallied in an attempt to force extra time. They did so deep into stoppage time, with substitute Vu Minh Tuan slotting the ball into the lower left corner.
The 96th minute saw Que Ngoc Hai called for a poor tackle in the box against Lilipaly, with the referee pointing to the spot. Manahati Lestusen’s aim was true, drawing Indonesia even and giving them a 4-3 aggregate victory after another thrilling 25 minutes of play.