Tuesday, November 08, 2016


Vietnam Come From Behind To Edge Indonesia In Hanoi Friendly

If you are that most rare species of an Indonesian football fan, a glass half full kind of guy, there are a couple of positives to be taken from the narrow 3-2 loss against Vietnam in Hanoi last night. First up, there were two goals to celebrate. The merah putih aren't renowned for the goalscoring exploits on their travels to net twice in the unfamiliar chill of My Dinh Stadium should be worth a pat on the back.

What was the other positive? Umm. They took the lead twice?

When it comes to preparing for an international tournament Indonesia don't do too well. There is usually so much other stuff going on in the background which ever coach has been tasked with bringing back a trophy always goes in knowing he doesn't just have hand tied behind his back; chances are he has his own Plan B in place.

Alfred Ried, in charge of Indonesia for his third ASEAN Football Federation Championships, knows that despite the quality of players he has at his disposal, and there are some pretty good footballers in the squad, the harsh truth is this was only the fourth time he has seen his players get a run out since the FIFA ban was lifted earlier in the year.

Victory over Malaysia, arguably in a worse state than Indonesia thanks to an undeclared civil war between one particular club and the FA that has seen a number of high profile players announce their unavailability for the national team, and draws against Vietnam and away to Myanmar are hardly the best preparation but Riedl can't have expected better.

Vietnam, one of the favourites for the competition and up against Malaysia, Myanmar and Cambodia in Yangon, have played the likes of Syria and North Korea suggesting a set up that is aware football is played beyond the restrictive borders of South East Asia.

Skipper Boas Solossa gave Indonesia the lead in the first home with a simple tap in after a fine break but the home side equalised before half time, Irfan Bachdim, the poster child of the 2010 campaign when Indonesia were beaten in the Final by Malaysia, scored his 10th international from with a penalty early in the second half but Vietnam struck back to pick up a moral boosting win.

Indonesia head to the Philippines next week knowing they will face a resolute host plus Thailand, the best side in the region. Singapore will join Indonesia in the battle for third.

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