Difficult for Garudas to get to next round: Riedl
Sitting at the bottom of Group A, Indonesia has only a slim chance of making it to the semifinals with four-time champions Singapore as the last team to face in the 2016 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup group stage on Friday in Manila, the Philippines.
With a 2-2 draw against host the Philippines on Tuesday evening, Indonesia’s Team Garuda has only collected one point on the leader board.
Third-place Singapore is also on one point, but it is in a better position with -1 goal difference, while Indonesia is -2.
“You saw a very interesting match [on Tuesday]. A lot of chances left and right for us,” said Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl as quoted by the tournament’s official website affsuzukicup.com.
“Given the chances, we should have won the match. [But] we hit the post and came close as well. We have one point, so it will be very difficult for us to get into the next round,” added the Austrian.
Indonesia’s Garudas must also see second-place Philippines complete its match against Thailand, which is set for the same date in Bocaue, with at least draw in order for them to advance.
Although there is a small chance for a win in the decisive match on Friday, the Philippines, backed by their home-pitch advantage, may gather enough momentum to defeat Thailand. In the Tuesday meet, Indonesia failed to maintain the domination that it successfully created from the beginning of the match.
The Garudas only needed seven minutes to display powerful soccer through a perfect collaboration between midfielder Stefano Lilipaly and defenseman Fachrudin Aryanto, who headed a ball into the net to secure a 1-0 lead.
The host team leveled in the 31st minute via striker Misagh Bahadoran, who responded to midfielder Stephan Schrock. In the second half, Indonesia’s captain Boaz Solossa showed his advanced skills by bombarding the Philippines’ goalie Rolland Muller at the 68th minute that silenced the roaring home crowd at the Philippine Sports Stadium.
Fighting back, Thomas Dooley’s side caught up to the leading visitors through captain Philip Younghusband’s strike in the 82nd minute.
Head coach Dooley acknowledged that his team’s mistakes at the back cost his side a chance to secure a spot in the knockout stages. Dooley said that to win the upcoming game against Thailand, his men would have to give everything they had left in their tanks.
“We have to do something in the last game [against Thailand]. It will be an exciting game,” he said. “We have to get ready. This is another chance – we have to look after [our mistakes]. I think we will try to play as well as we can.”