JAKARTA (18 Nov 2011) – The loss to Malaysia last night might have been hard to accept but Rahmad Darmawan, the chief coach of Indonesia, has made a plea to all football fans in the country to keep the faith with the team.
Rahmad as promised ringed the changes in their semi-final clash against nemesis Malaysia with Patrich Wanggai left totally on the bench while the likes of Egi Mardiansyah, Kurnia Mega and Okto Maniani only came on substitutes.
By then, the Malaysians had already gone 1-0 up courtesy of a grounder from 18-year-old Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim in the 18th minute.
But as Rahmad pointed out afterwards, it is important not to miss the trees for the forest.
“It was a hard decision to make but we had little choice as several of our players were carrying yellow cards. And we did not want to risk it should they not be available for the semi-finals,” said Rahmad.
“We are already in the semi-finals and for us, if we want to be the champions, we must be able to beat anyone. So in the game against Malaysia, it was not a gamble as more of a calculated risk.
“Do we want to beat Malaysia in this last group match or is it more important to win the semi-final and book our place in the final? I hope that the fans will still keep their faith the team and come support us in the semi-finals.”
By virtue of finishing second in Group A, the Indonesians will take on Vietnam, the winners from Group B. Malaysia as winners of Group A will take on Myanmar in the runners up from Group B in the other semi-final tie.
SEA GAMES 2011 SEMI-FINALS FIXTURES
|19.11.2011||MALAYSIA||vs||MYANMAR||1600 hrs||GELORA BUNG KARNO|
|21.11.2011||Loser 1st Semis||vs||Loser 2nd Semis||1600 hrs||GELORA BUNG KARNO|
|Winner 1st Semis||vs||Winner 2nd Semis||1930 hrs|