I just tested it, and for me, after entering "echo 1;" and then "enter", the cursor doesn't go below the if, it goes below the "echo".
Then, hitting the "}" key places the brace below the if.
The algorithm seems to be that inserting the "}" will automatically indent it one tab stop left of wherever the cursor is now.
Are you sure you're not "manually" hitting backspace after entering the "echo 1;" line?
By the way, out of curiosity, why do you turn off autoMatchEnabled? I find it amazingly helpful.
At the worst, it doesn't get in your way since entering the extra brace will override the first.
At best, after hitting the first brace and getting the second one automatically, hitting enter will (like magic) position the second brace in the appropriate place, and the cursor in between them.
After an hour of getting used to this, I now find it really awesome.