Indonesia's Home Advantage In AFF Cup Semi Final Adds Extra Pressure

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Indonesia manager Alfred Riedl says playing both legs of the AFF Cup semi final at home could be a disadvantage for his side.

The entire tie will be played in Jakarta at the 88,000 capacity Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, with opponents the Philippines unable to provide a venue that meets international standards.

“Playing both semi final legs in front of our home crowd will give us more pressure as fans expect us to win both games," Riedl said. "Besides, we need to gain experience playing away games."

Despite the Austrian manager's warning, there's no denying Indonesia have all the momentum after topping their group with three wins.

They thumped Malaysia 5-1 in their opening match, before beating Laos 6-0 and then Thailand 2-1 in their last game to knock Bryan Robson's side out of the competition.

Yet to win the tournament despite being in three consecutive finals in 2000, 2002 and 2004, the co-hosts look likely to end their drought this time around.

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” Riedl added. “At this stage, all teams have an equal chance of winning the tournament.

"If we want to win this, my players must make the best of their chances.”

In sumptuous attacking form, they will be hoping that a slight knee injury to Firman Utina won't rule the influential playmaker out of their first leg tomorrow.


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