| JAKARTA (Nov 13, 2007) – The Indonesia Under-23 side, which is being prepared for the SEA Games at the end of the month, will be used to play Syria this Sunday in Damascus.
With a place in the next qualifying round of the 2010 World Cup virtually out of reach following their 4-1 loss to Syria in Jakarta, the decision to use the Indonesian U23 squad has been widely accepted by the Indonesian FA (PSSI).
“It will be an official match for the U23 side and it will be a positive experience to their preparation for the SEA Games,” said Indonesia national coach Ivan Kolev.
“There might not be a target set for these players but they have to realise that they will be playing for their country and they have to play at their best.”
Kolev pointed out that part of the reason why the U23 side have been chosen ahead of the senior squad was also due to the lack of preparation of the senior team.
He said that it was obvious from the first leg in Jakarta that the senior players did not have a lot of time to prepare whereas the U23 squad have been in training since October and where they had only recently returned from a tour of Argentina.
In the meantime, the Malaysian U23 team got off to a positive start to their preparation for the SEA Games when they held defending champions Thailand to a 1-1 draw in Bangkok.