Asian Football Cup

Jan 23rd, 2009, in News, by

Asian CupLooking forward to next week’s Asian Cup qualifier in Jakarta between Indonesia and Australia.

Indonesia versus Australia

For the first time in decades, Indonesia will play Australia in a competitive international.  Next Wednesday, Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno Stadium will be packed with up to 100,000 people, most of whom will be willing on the home team.

Indonesia has already made an impressive start to the Asian Cup campaign, with an away draw in Oman. The Australian team has been selected from the domestic A-league, as European-based players, including superstars such as Everton’s Tim Cahill, are not available for international duty for this fixture.  Australia also has an eye on their next World Cup qualifier in Japan in a fortnight.

Australian coach Pim Verbeek is taking no chances, and sent assistant Graham Arnold to scout Indonesia during the recent ASEAN championship. Verbeek himself will be in the stands, as he is still suspended from the touchline from the previous Asian Cup, where he coached South Korea.  Arnold will run the team from the bench. Verbeek said the lack of serious preparation for the match in Jakarta had forced him to pick blocks of players, who were likely to do the job for him because of their understanding at club level. Hence the selection of Melbourne Victory strike partners Archie Thompson and Danny Allsopp and their Central Coast Mariners counterparts Dylan Macallister and Matt Simon as the four strikers in a 21-member squad.

Bambang Pamungkas, patriot.

Benny Dolo, coach of Indonesia, is more circumspect. He said in Muscat:

I cannot prepare for the match until I watch a video of a recent Australia game. All I know about Australia is that they are supposed to be the strongest team in the group but I need more information about the team. I’ve got no idea how to play the Australians, whether with four in the middle or five.

He then spoke cryptically about

no coach in the world wanting to lose any match and that any player would give his best for his coach

presumably meaning that he expected the Australians would be hard to beat regardless of who’s playing.

Everybody knows how good and fast Australia are.

Dolo said.

Against the Australians we will be at home and our supporters should help us a lot. The weather will favour us too and I hope that we can play with the right mentality and get a good result.

Dolo didn’t want to single out any players in his squad for special mention even though hit-man Bambang Pamungkas is considered one of the finest and most lethal finishers in South-East Asia. theworldgame

15 Comments on “Asian Football Cup”

  1. Haedi says:

    Indonesian team is still below of australia ability, but don’t fail first, before you show the spirit and your skill in the ground, we pray for you
    Reach your achievement as high as possible.

    thank you, God will be with you amin..!

  2. hedi says:

    Bambang Pamungkas has been playing under his best performance recently. However, technically, it will be hard to beat The Oz even they will play most A-League stars. All Indonesian players need is playing for the best they can. Forget about the result. Supporters will be behind them.

  3. sputjam says:

    Bambang is first class. But Indonesians and other ASEAN players are not good at holding the ball and creating spaces. Also players are not physical enough. Not using their upper body to push the opponent out of the way. Maybe we are just too polite to play physically.

  4. Patrick says:

    The Indonesian team has to learn to think like winners and not like a team preparing for the inevitable loss!

  5. Burung Koel says:

    I don’t know about you, but this is a potential ‘banana skin’ for Australia. The performance of Sydney FC against Persik in the Asian Champions League is a case in point. Persik did enough to take 3 points in Solo, which effectively put Sydney out.

    Game On!

  6. Achmad Sudarsono says:

    It will be really funny if the crowd goes Amok and lynches the umpire. Also really funny if Bonek storm the field and assault the Australians… he he .

  7. fullmoonflower says:

    hihihihihi……. it will be the funniest moment for this month 😆

  8. Chris says:

    I agree with Burung Koel, Australia might find the weather a bit difficult (as it did in Thailand at Asian Cup 2007), so look for a fast finishing Indonesia.

    I disagree with Achmad, again.

    If you’re wondering, in 2003 some errr… enthusiastic Uruguayans sent a “welcome party” to the Montevideo airport for the Australian team before their World Cup qualification game, so we’ve been there before.

    One more piece of trivia: Australia played Indonesia in an international friendly in Perth in 2005, as a fund-raiser for tsunami relief. While it was full of good will and not the most serious game, some soccer journalists criticised Australia for only winning 1-0.

  9. Rob says:

    I hope it is a good game and may the best team win.

  10. Burung Koel says:

    Keep an ear out for the chants of the Aussie supporters section. In Germany for the 2006 World Cup, the green and gold army taunted English fans with this little ditty:

    “Posh Spice is a slapper,
    Posh Spice is a whore.
    When she’s f-cking Beckham,
    She’s thinking of Craig Moore…”

    And Craig will be captaining Australia tomorrow night.

  11. tuwaga says:

    I dont think any oz will be stupid enough to taunt 90k+ crowd. If so, they deserve to get bashed.

  12. Burung Koel says:

    Match Report:

    Nil-nil is a result that will satisfy both sides. For Indonesia, it was a game where they matched Australia in most facets, although the lack of physicality in midfield was a problem. Some sloppiness at the back (including from goalkeeper Markus) could have been costly, and tightening ball control and making passes count is something that could be improved. The withdrawal of Budi Sudharsono and his replaceemnt by defender Erol Iba for the last 10 minutes showed Benny Dolo was happy with a draw.

    For an Australian team with 9 players making their international debut, it was a composed performance in front of a noisy but good natured crowd. The squad had only one training session before the match, and it showed at times, with an inability to find players in forward positions. Although Indonesia’s back four, well organised by veteran Charis Yulianto, kept a tight grip on danger man Archie Thompson for most of the game.

    Looking ahead, there is a chance that both teams could qualify from the group, as neither Oman nor Kuwait look terribly dangerous. Australia will have their overseas-based players back for the later rounds.

    Last night, I thought Paul Reid ran tirelessly all game for Australia, and was my man of the match. I liked Boas when he had the ball at his feet, and he was able to match the Australians physically, but he runs into blind alleys too often.

  13. Lairedion says:

    I couldn’t believe it when I heard it but it’s true.

    Indonesia officially joins the race to host the FIFA World Cup, either in 2018 or 2022. It will face competition from two “adverseries/foes”, Australia and a joint Dutch-Belgian bid, among others.

    Read all about it here.

  14. Chris says:

    Thanks for the info Lairedion.

    Is the director of PSSI (the Indonesian football federation) still in jail for corruption – for the second time ? Even Seth Blatter has asked the PSSI to remove him from office, so I doubt the bid will get very far.

  15. Burung Koel says:

    I don’t know, RD. If that’s true, it might be the first time Sepp takes any action on corruption in national football associations. He relies on dodgy mates like CONCACAF’s Jack Warner to keep him in power. Maybe the PSSI guy voted the wrong way at FIFA.

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