JAKARTA (21 Nov 2011) – Some say it has been the equivalent of a lifetime of waiting for millions of success starved football fans throughout Indonesia. Put it in the right context and 20-years is indeed a lifetime for many fans who were not even born when Indonesia last claimed the SEA Games football gold medal in Manila in 1991.
They came within a whisker of winning the gold in 1997 when Indonesia last hosted the SEA Games but they lost to Thailand in the shootout. That was 14-years ago. Although since 2001, the SEA Games has been confined to players below the ages of 23, the glamour and honour that goes with winning the gold has not lost its glitter.
Host nations spend millions to host the SEA Games but they all want the football gold medal, it’;s no different this time around. Tonight, Indonesian football can finally break out of a winless spell lasting two decades if they can get the better of their arch rivals Malaysia.
The pressure on the shoulders of the Young Garudas is enormous but if they keep their cool and not get emotional and lose their heads, could end up at the top of the podium. Furthermore, Indonesia lost to Malaysia in the group stage and must surely have learnt from their mistakes then. Coach Rahmad Darmawan will surely know the weaknesses to exploit. But all that will come to nought if his players do not maintain their composure and remain disciplined.
Malaysia have claimed that they will be without four key players but Indonesia must put that aside and concentrate on the game as a whole. Do that in 90 minutes and they will end 20-years of waiting for millions of hardcore fans.
For Indonesia, defeating Malaysia tonight would be the perfect victory and would complete their dominance of the 26th Jakarta SEA Games.
SEA GAMES 2011 SEMI-FINALS FIXTURES
|19.11.2011||MALAYSIA 1||vs||MYANMAR 0||1600 hrs||GELORA BUNG KARNO|
|VIETNAM 0||vs||INDONESIA 2||1930 hrs|
|21.11.2011||MYANMAR||vs||VIETNAM||1600 hrs||GELORA BUNG KARNO|