By burying his ghost from two years ago, one man helped his team reach the final for the second consecutive time
|MAN OF THE MATCH
Malaysia U-23 2-1 Vietnam U-23
Two years ago, young Indonesian goalkeeper Kurnia Meiga was left heartbroken by their defeat to archrivals Malaysia in the 2011 SEA Games football tournament final, through the penalty shoot-out. It was all the more heartbreaking that Indonesia did not just lose to the Tigers once, but twice, and they lost in a tournament that they hosted, in front of their own fans.
However in this year's edition, Kurnia has not been a sure-pick for head coach Rahmad Darmawan, especially after conceding four against Thailand in their 4-1 thrashing in the group stage.
However Rahmad put his trust in Kurnia, and the Arema Cronous player started the match against Malaysia again, almost two years to the day that he suffered the Gelora Bung Karno heartbreak.
Although he was not called into action often by the misfiring Malaysian attackers, and conceded an equaliser in the final minutes of the match, he finally shone in the penalty shoot-out. Right off the bat, the 23-year old saved not one, but two of the Malaysians' spotkicks, which took a lot of pressure off his team. This immensely helped when his teammate Manahati Lestusen failed to convert his turn, but Kurnia's Malaysian counterpart; Izham Tarmizi failed to save another, and the Garudas are through to the final. Kurnia finally laid his ghost to rest, heroically.
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