JAKARTA (AFP) - An injury-time header from substitute Saad Al Harthi earnt Saudi Arabia a priceless Asian Cup win to break Indonesian hearts here on Saturday.
The co-hosts had held out admirably in a one-sided second half after first half goals from Yasser Al Qahtani and Aiboy Elie had seen the teams level 1-1 at the break.
Saudi Arabia's 2-1 victory sees them leap above Indonesia to the top of group D with four points from two games, and brings some breathing space for Saudi coach Helio Dos Angos.
The Brazilian has been under pressure at home after their opening draw with South Korea.
"Credit to us. The win was very important for Saudi Arabia," he said, while brushing off the criticism that has plagued him.
"I don't care about it. The only way to silence the critics is with results, and good results."
Indonesia coach Ivan Kolev paid tribute to the 88,000 fans who crammed the stadium, and said his players would rebound against South Korea on Wednesday.
"I'm very disappointed for the players, the team and the spectators. We should have got a point," said the Bulgarian.
"Hopefully the players will recover and we will be back against Korea."
It was a thrilling match played in a carnival atmosphere in front of a sell-out crowd.
On nine minutes Al Qahtani went on a mazy run down the left, beating four players before setting up Malek Maaz but he blazed well over from six yards.
Two minutes later, Indonesia missed an even better chance.
Budi Sudarsono's speculative 30-yard free-kick was pushed out by Yasser Al Mosailem in the Saudi goal and the ball dropped straight to Elie at an angle eight yards out but his first-time finish with the goal gaping was appalling and went for a throw-in.
Saudi Arabia punished him in the next minute as Al Qahtani nipped in front of his marker to plant a firm header from Ahmed Al Bahri's cross into the bottom corner.
The action was unrelenting and on 20 minutes Indonesia were level, thanks largely to Syamsul Bachri's industry.
He won a tackle 30 yards out and the ball broke past the backline to Elie who rounded Al Mosailem and cooly slotted home.
Late on in the half Al Mosailem came to his side's rescue twice in quick succession. First he tipped over Elie's chip to the back post and then from the resulting corner he tipped over Richardo Salampessy's firm bouncing header.
The second half was every bit as exciting and the Saudis should have gone in front on 51 minutes when they orchestrated a two-on-one situation but Abdulrahman Al Qahtani greedily shot wide of the far post rather than squaring for the unmarked Maaz.
Indonesia started to pay for all the chasing they did in the first half and the chances were coming thick and fast for Saudi Arabia.
Indonesia again had a let off 20 minutes from time when goalkeeper Yandri Pitoy made a point blank save from Yasser Al Qahtani after a brilliant run down the left from full-back Kamil Al Mousa.
With 10 minutes to go Indonesia escaped again as neat interplay between Saudi Arabia's forward pairing saw Maaz set Al Qahtani free but Muhammad Ridwan recovered to clear for a corner.
But deep into injury time they could do nothing to stop Al Harthi's header from a free-kick.
|1||Yasser Al Mosailem|
|7||Kamil Al Mousa|
|15||Ahmed Al Bahri|
|19||Waleed Abd Raboh|
|18||Abdulrahman Al Qahtani|
|30||Ahmed Al Mousa|
|20||Yasser Al Qahtani||12'|
|Coach: Hélio dos Anjos|
for Ahmed Al Mousa 56'
for Saud Khariri 66'
for Yasser Al Qahtani 89'
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