Thursday, January 29, 2009


Indonesia v Australia 0-0

Indonesian coach Benny Dollo apparently said after the game that he looked on the 0-0 as a point won, not two lost. I disagree. After three months preparation this side should have beaten the Aussies who lacked experience and had never played together except in Bruce’s Fantasy Football.

All is not doom and gloom for Indonesia but here ain’t too many rays of sunshine either. A second clean sheet is never a bad thing. One could quibble playing against an Oman side who had just won the Gulf Cup and a weakened Socceroos rather devalues that achievement but then again you can only play against what’s in front of you. Tables only record the results, the rest is forgotten.

Adding Mahman Abdurahman to the defence alongside Charis Yulianto has brought some strength to the back four but there will always be suspicions until the pairing come up against real quality or keep another blank in a hostile foreign stadium. Bringing in Ricardo Salmpessy to replace Ismed Sofyan has cost Benny’s men pin point deadball delivery but the former is content to concentrate on his main job and that is defending.

Persipura striker Boaz Solossa has had a torrid time with injuries this last 18 months but in the first half he showed flashes of his old self including one surging run where brute force and pace saw him running at the Aussie defence before running out of steam. Musafry buzzed first half and proved a constant irritant but like his partners, including a Budi Sudarsono who rarely rose above average on the night, fired blanks.

Ah yes, scoring goals. The raison d’etre of this sweet game of ours. Nothing in the last five apart from an own goal. Bambang Pamungkas scores for fun in the ISL but has struggled of late with an injury and last night the record goal scorer didn’t make the starting XI. Musafry had an impressive start to the season with unfancied Persiba and looked good in his international performances but apart from a goal in the GRCC in Yangon last November he hasn’t celebrated too much either.

The sad truth is this current side won’t get much better if this is what happens after all that preparation. Is the time right to look at younger players? The SEA Games are being held in Laos later this year and that will afford us an opportunity to see the next generation in action. But for now we must accept the fact that all the undoubted potential this country possesses on the football field will remain unfulfilled. At least for the near future.

Thanks for the post. I very good perspective.

How big was that crowd?
the afc website gave the crowd as 50,000. certainly a couple of empty blocks inside...
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