KUALA LUMPUR (28 Nov 2012) – Former champions Singapore have never lost to Indonesia in the AFF Suzuki Cup but their encounters have always been very tough. And the Lions expect more of the same treatment when they face Indonesia in their second Group B match at the National Stadium today.
“My first experience with them was in 2004. We went on to win the final and it was one of our best matches. All matches with them ever since have been very hard games,” said Raddy Avramovic, Singapore’s coach.
“Indonesia have always had a big pool of players. And they have some good players. It will be difficult,” Avramovic added. “We won our first game which was important but that’s over and now we look forward to Indonesia.”
Singapore sensationally whipped defending champions Malaysia and are now aiming for a second win over Indonesia which will ensure the Lions a place in the semifinals.,
Led by striker Bambang Pamungkas, Indonesia have a few “oldies” from the last AFF Suzuki Cup like Eli Aiboy, Okto Maniani, Fachruddin, Andik Vermansyah and Irfan Bachdim.
However, the majority of players in the team are young and are playing in their first major competition and that could affect the team’s overall performance here.
Still, Avramovic felt that if allowed to play their game Indonesia would be trouble. “Just look at Laos when they were given space to play, they will go for it,” said the Lions coach referring to Laos’ 2-2 draw with Indonesia.
Indonesian coach Nil Mazhar meanwhile said that he hopes for a better performance against the Lions.
“Singapore are confident after beating Malaysia. They have many good experienced players who have been around since AFF Suzuki Cup 2008. I hope we will be able to break them.
“It has to be a total commitment from the players.”