Thursday, March 26, 2015


Indonesia v Cameroon 0-1

A good work out for Indonesia against Cameroon who may have been missing some of their big names but were still too much for the hosts.

Benny Dollo's first game in charge following the poor showing at last year's AFF Cup and many fans would be interested in knowing what changes he had imposed on the underachieving merah putih. Actually it turns out the fans weren't asking the question as next to no bugger turned up with the attendance reported as 1500-2500!

The much vaunted nationalism we read about seems to have deserted football or at least the football public in Sidoarjo and nearby Surabaya judging by the piss poor number. Would the game have attracted more had it been played in Jakarta? Possibly though the stadium had already been long booked by some boy band called One Direction; forward planning that is seemingly beyond the powers that be in football.

Dollo hardly rung the changes though one noticeable absentee was Sergio Van Dijk who had led the line in Vietnam. In fact given Dollo is coaching Sriwijaya it is perhaps surprising players like Patrich Wanggai and Ferdinand Sinaga were not given a bigger role to play.

Instead the ageless Cristian Gonzales was called away from a friendly with his club side Arema against second tier Persip to lead the line for the national team with Tantan, Boas Solossa and Zulham playing just behind but tasked with getting up in support as often as possible.

With no competitive football under their belts since the end of the 2014 season, Indonesia struggled to find any rhythm though of course they also struggled to find any rhythm in Vietnam at the end of last season. There was plenty of huff and puffed cheeks but so many simple passes were misplaced so much energy was spent just trying to get control of the errant ball.

Furrowed eyebrows and hands on hips maybe considered evidence of hard work but as is so often the case the energy was being expanded in the wrong areas. What was needed was someone in the middle to get the ball on the ground, take a touch or two and pick out the right pass. Instead players were in such a hurry to control and pass the precious round thing was given away far too often and Indonesia, in front of the apathetic crowd, struggled for fluency.

In the end the result flattered Indonesia. I Made Wirawan made some fine stops in the second half to keep Cameroon at bay and the history books will record a narrow loss, not the performance.

Next up for Indonesia is a game against Myanmar also in Sidoarjo

I Made Wirawan
Farizi, Victor Igbonefo, Yohanis Tjoe (Aryanto), Sukadana (Raphael Maitimo)
Kipuw (Tony Sucipto), Hariono (Jufriyanto)
Tantan (Bayu), Boas Solossa, Zulham
Cristian Gonzales (Ferdinand Sinaga)

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