Early Success for Indonesia U-19 in AFF

By Haikal Pasya on 08:59 pm Sep 11, 2013
Category Football, Sports

Indonesia enjoyed a great start after thrashing Brunei Darussalam 5-0 in its opening match of the Under-19 Asean Football Federation tournament at Gelora Delta Stadium in Sidoarjo, East Java, on Tuesday.

Ilham Udin and Muchlis Syaifulloh scored a brace each while Hargianto added another to help Indonesia top Group B .

Head coach Indra Sjafrie said there was a lot of room for improvement as the players looked edgy early on in the match.

“It was our first match and expectations are high. The boys found it hard to shake their nerves, so they wasted many chances,” Indra said in a post-match interview.

“We had a lot of chances that should have been converted into goals. In my opinion, we could have won by six or seven.”

He added that he still appreciated his players’ efforts in the rout.

The result leaves Indonesia atop Group B with Vietnam in second place after edging Thailand 3-2. Malaysia failed to secure full points after being held to a 1-1 draw by Myanmar.

In Group A, Laos started its campaign with a 3-0 win over the Philippines while East Timor held Singapore to a 1-1 draw in Sidoarjo, both on Monday.

“We’re still waiting for Myanmar’s match video from the national team body. Once we get the tape, we will discuss our strategy. I really hope the players adjust themselves with the competition and play better,” coach Indra said.

Indonesia has never won the event since its inception in 2002.

Last year, Iran won the title after defeating Uzbekistan 2-1 in the final.

Indonesia will bid to retain the top spot when it takes on Myanmar today.

Three players — including double-scorers Hargianto and Ilham — are likely to miss the match through injury.