Emphatic Indonesia win did not fairly reflect game

Thursday, December 2, 2010
Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl and his Malaysian counterpart K.Rajagobal were united in the opinion that Indonesia's 5-1 win in their AFF Suzuki Cup clash on Wednesday may not have been a fair reflection on the balance of the match.

The Malaysians made things tough for the hosts for much of the Group A game at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, even taking the lead through Norshahrul Idlan after 18 minutes.

But an unlucky own goal by Malaysian defender Asraruddin Putra and a superb finish by striker Christian Gonzales turned the match in Indonesia's favour before half-time. And Muhammad Ridwan, substitute Arif Suyono and Irfan Bachdim struck after the break to secure a big win for the home side, much to the delight of their raucous and partisan following at the Gelora Bung Karno.

While delighted with the result, Riedl admitted that it may not have been a just scoreline

"Of course we are very happy that we have won the match although I think that 5-1 was too high a score," said the Austrian. "Perhaps 3-1 might have been a fairer result although we did deserve to win because we showed more power and desire during the match.

"I felt that we played our best football during the first 20 minutes of the game but we fell 1-0 behind. However, our players showed good character to come back and take the lead before half-time and get more goals in the second half, which was more up and down.

"It was a good win for us but it's just one game and it's not the end. Now it's time for us to work on our next match.

"I don't want to single out any of our players because I feel that it was a good team effort tonight."

Rajagobal was understandably disappointed with what was Malaysia's heaviest ever defeat in the AFF Suzuki Cup.

"I'm disappointed with the result because I do not think that it was a true reflection of the game," said the Malaysia coach. "I feel a bit bad for the players because I thought that we played well in packets but we made bad mistakes at crucial times.

"Our players still tried to give it a go but they were tired at the end. And as the goals started to go in for Indonesia, they just grew in confidence while our players felt frustrated."

Rajagobal included midfielder Amri Yahyah and defender Razman Roslan in his starting line-up despite the veteran pair having had little time to adapt to their teammates after receiving late call-ups. In hindsight, he admitted that it may not have been the right choice for the team.

"I could see that we didn't quite have the right balance as the game went on," he explained.

"We needed the experience of Amri and Razman and during the earlier stages they were working quite well with their teammate. But as the match went on, they faded as their legs got tired.

"But by then, it was too late to make changes to affect the game, to give some extra strength and energy to the team."


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