Saturday, June 02, 2007


Indonesia v Hong Kong

3-0 looks a comfortable enough result on paper but in truth while Indonesia were rarely threatened by an insipid Hong Kong team they in turn did little in the top half of the field to give South Korea sleepless nights in the upcoming Asian Cup.

A small crowd, perhaps 6,000, looked dwarfed in the cavernous Bung Karno as the rain fell steadily throughout the game in Central Jakarta. First half Indonesia, adopting an attacking 4 4 2 rarely utilised the width and when they did all too often Boas Solassa produced little end product. Defensively it was very solid and the keeper had little to do but at half time there were too many questions being asked among the fans about how the hosts hoped to create anything in the final third. All that possession wasted in a congested midfield.

Second half was more of the same and you wondered where a goal would come from. Finally one did. A free kick on the edge of the box and local hero Bambang gave the fans something to cheer.

Minutes later and a lightning attack down the left saw the ball pulled across the goal and an unlucky Hong Kong defender, panicked by a lurking Indonesian forward, slid the ball home. Later Zaenal Arief made the score 3-0. Bad news for Indonesia when Boas was taken off injured.

So a 3-0 victory in their first friendly should be cause for concern. Two goals from set plays, ironically the own goal showed the way forward by using the flanks a la Manchester United.

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