After three in a row winning last week, our national football team successfully continued its victory by beating Philippines last night.
A different Philippines team, but a similar result for Indonesia. Christian Gonzales scored in the 32nd minute, as Indonesia beat the Philippines 1-0 in their first-leg semifinal in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup on Thursday.
Indonesia burned the net for 13 goals in the group stage, and many thought the match with the Philippines would be a walk in the park.
However, the Filipinos, who were forced to play their “home match” at Jakarta’s Bung Karno Stadium because they lacked AFF-standard venues, proved to be tough customers.
It was the Philippines’ first loss after going unbeaten in the group stage with one win and two draws.
The Philippines was up to the challenge in this one, and it was the “visiting” home side’s defense that carried it through against its more talented opponents.
Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl acknowledged the Philippines gave his side fits and added that playing their “away game” at home proved a crucial factor.
“It’s an important win for us, but we’re not in the final yet. There’s still a second leg,” Riedl said.
“This does give us an advantage though for the next match on Sunday.”
Indonesia didn’t have too many chances on goal and lacked the same flair in midfield that characterized its dominant run in the earlier round.
That had a lot to do with the the Philippines’s disciplined approach on defense.
The Indonesians had only two clear shots throughout the game, both of them coming from Gonzales.
“I think the opponent played very well as they made it difficult for us to win challenges,” Riedl said.
“Again, I’m happy to win and we deserve the victory.”
Indonesia was shaky at the start, as the Philippines dominated ball possession for the first 10 minutes.
Firman Utina and Achmad Bustomi failed to control the midfield, while Oktovianus Maniani and Muhamad Ridwan struggled to break through the Filipinos’ backline.
“It was very difficult to execute those short passes. I don’t like long passes, but we had no choice but to resort to them,” Riedl said.
Indonesia almost got an early lead when Gonzales looked to receive a cross from Achmad Bustomi in 11th minute but was thwarted by Philippines goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.
A few minutes later, the Philippines went into counterattack that ended with Indonesia keeper Markus Harison blocking a shot by Phil Younghusband.
Younghusband nearly gave the Filipinos the lead when Markus misjudged the striker’s attempt but recovered in time to tip the shot away.
Then the breakthrough happened in the 32nd minute, when Gonzales broke the deadlock and headed in a Firman Utina cross.
Philippines coach Simon McMenemy acknowledged that Indonesia was better the team, but said the tie wasn’t over yet.
“We’ll stick to our game plan,” the Englishman said.
“We have to play fast and attacking football. I think we did pretty well tonight. I don’t think Indonesia broke us down many times. It was a mistake that cost us a goal, and the mistake came because the boys couldn’t hear each other.
“We can’t sit back and expect to hold out for 180 minutes. We have to try to win this game.
The second leg returns to Bung Karno Stadium on Sunday.
News Source : The Jakarta Globe
Photo Source : The Jakarta Globe
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December 17th, 2010 → 10:45 am
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