Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - A lot of soccer fans of the Indonesian national soccer team could not hide their disappointment over the 0-1 loss to the Singapore team in its first appearance in Singapore on Friday night (Nov.9).
Playing in the AFF Suzuki 2018 tournament held at the Singapore national stadium, the national team, which is locally known as "Garuda team," for the time being ranked third after Thailand and Singapore.
The Singapores single goal was scored by its captain Hariss Harun in the 37th minute.
Competing before its fans, the Singapores team successfully blocked the fast motion of the Indonesian wingers (Febri Hariyadi and Irfan Jaya).
According to Fandi Ahmad, coach of the Singapore national soccer team, the key to his squads victory over Indonesia was the success of stopping the speed of the Indonesian wingers.
"By locking the two Garuda team wingers, Indonesia failed to win the game," Ahmad explained, adding that Indonesia has fast and dangerous wingers if given space. "We stopped the supply of balls to them," Ahmad remarked.
With the defeat, Indonesia temporarily ranked third in Group B, below the group leader Thailand, who defeated Timor Leste with a score of 7-0 and Singapore in second place. Meanwhile, Timor Leste is ranked fourth.
The other team in Group B, the Philippines was scheduled to play its first game on Tuesday (Nov 13), against Singapore.
The Garuda team along with Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and the Philippines are placed in group B in the AFF Suzuki 2018 tournament. Thai soccer team in its first match successfully crushed Timor Leste 7-0.
Pertaining to the failure of the Garuda team, its coach Bima Sakti, in his comment among others, stated that "soccer match does not equal the math," implying the optimism that the Garuda team still has opportunity to win its next matches.
On Tuesday (Nov 13), the Garuda team will play against Timor Leste. Judging from the first very disappointed performance of Timor Leste team with its 0-7 loss to Thailand, the Garuda team is predicted to be able to crush Timor Leste.
However, as stated earlier by Sakti, the "soccer match does not equal the math." Therefore, the answer on which team will win in the match between the Garuda team and Timor Leste is of course still in doubt.
It was the first job of Sakti to bring the senior Garuda team to compete with foreign team after he replaced the former national soccer coach Luis Mila of Spain, whose two-year contract has ended recently.
Sakti highlighted the mentality of the players who are considered difficult to control emotions when dealing with Singapore.
Sakti, however, expressed his optimism that his squad qualified for the AFF Cup semi-finals 2018 despite the defeat in the inaugural match in Group B against Singapore with a score of 1-0 on Friday.
"We are certainly saddened by the defeat, but we are not finished. The chance to qualify is still there," Sakti remarked after the match against Singapore.
According to Sakti, the national team will evaluate all the shortcomings that occurred when it lost to Singapore.
He was determined not to lose again in the next matches, starting from their second match in Group B against Timor Leste on Tuesday (Nov 13), which will take place in the Bung Karno main stadium, Jakarta. "We will work hard to win," Sakti noted.
In the meantime, the Indonesian national captain and defender Hansamu Yama Pranata also echoed similar hopes.
Pranata explained that his squad still has an opportunity to qualify for the semifinals as one of the two best teams in the group is still open.
"We ask for prayers from the Indonesian people," he pointed out.
The Garuda team still has three matches in the group B. However, the matches are predicted to run tightly.
After playing against Timor Leste, Indonesia will leave for Thailand to compete against the host on Saturday (Nov 17) at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok. To date, Indonesia has never defeated Thailand at the stadium.
Then, on Sunday (Nov 25), Indonesia will return to Jakarta to face the Filipino visiting team, which was trained by renowned coach Sven-Goran Eriksson on England national team tactics at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.
Source: ANTARA News