National Team - Lions ● Nov 07, 2018
Opponent Spotlight: Indonesia
Photo from PSSI
SINGAPORE, 7 NOVEMBER 2018 – Before the Lions take on Indonesia in their ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2018 opener on Friday, 9 November, we take a look at our opponents…
FIFA Ranking: 160
Confederation: AFC (Asia), AFF (Southeast Asia)
Nickname: Tim Garuda (Team Garuda), Merah Putih (The Red and White)
Head Coach: Bima Sakti
The largest country in Southeast Asia and 15th biggest in the world, Indonesia has more than 13,000 different islands, with the largest being Java, Borneo and Sumatra.
Indonesia is also the region’s most populated country with about 260 million people.
Football is the most popular sport in Indonesia, despite the country regularly performing better in badminton on the international stage.
The Indonesian National Team is the only Southeast Asian team to have featured at the FIFA World Cup, appearing in the 1938 tournament in France as the Dutch East Indies.
Indonesia’s highest FIFA ranking of 87 was achieved in 1998 and 2001 and the lowest it reached was 179 in 2015. Today, it is positioned at 160.
Indonesia’s top tier of domestic football is Liga 1, formerly known as the Indonesian Super League. The league has existed since 2008 in its current single-tier format and Persipura Jayapura have a record three titles, though the current defending champions are Bhayangkara FC.
Current Lions Baihakki Khaizan and Shahril Ishak, as well as Head Coach Fandi Ahmad and National Team Mentor Noh Alam Shah, have all played in the Indonesian top division.
Get tickets at fas.org.sg/tickets and cheer our Lions on against Indonesia on 9 November at the National Stadium!
AFF CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
Despite reaching the final of region’s showpiece tournament five times, second only to Thailand’s eight, Indonesia have never won it.
As Indonesia prepare to take on Singapore in their Group B opener, the Garuda will try to build on their history of positive group stage performances in the tournament.
They have finished in the top two and progressed to the semi-finals on eight occasions in the past 11 editions. They have also only ever lost one of their opening group matches – a 4-2 defeat against Thailand in the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup.
Singapore have only managed a single win against Indonesia in five group matches – a 2-0 success in Jakarta in 2008.
But the Lions have the edge overall, winning on all occasions in the remaining three times they’ve met – once in the semi-finals in 1998 and twice over the two-legged finals in 2004.
The latter matches were arguably the most memorable. Despite starting as underdogs, Singapore secured an impressive 3-1 win in a daunting away first leg, which saw a then-19 year-old Khairul Amri (below) score his third international goal.
A 2-1 win in the second leg, with goals from Indra Sahdan and Agu Casmir, meant captain Aide Iskandar lifted the nation’s second AFF Championship trophy.
Since losing to Iceland in January, Indonesia have been unbeaten in friendlies. They beat Mauritius 1-0 in September, before recording a 3-0 victory against Myanmar and a 1-1 draw against Hong Kong in October.
Indonesia also took part in the 2018 Asian Games, which they hosted in August and 16 players from that side have been named in the squad for this Suzuki Cup.
They topped Group A after overcoming the likes of Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong, before bowing out in the last 16 after a heart-breaking 4-3 loss on penalties to United Arab Emirates in front of a home crowd.
The Indonesians conducted their final preparations for the AFF Suzuki Cup with a training camp in Cikarang, West Java from 2 to 5 November before departing for Singapore.
Current Head Coach Bima Sakti (below) is a former Indonesia international. Bima, whose name means Milky Way, was the former Assistant Coach of the national team.
He took the hot seat just two weeks before the start of the tournament, replacing Spaniard Luis Milla.
Bima made 58 international appearances for Indonesia, scoring 12 goals from midfield. He featured in two AFF Championships – the 1998 and 2000 editions.
Interestingly, he has faced Singapore Head Coach Fandi Ahmad during their playing careers. In the 1997 SEA Games, both players scored in the semi-final clash that finished 2-1 to Indonesia. It was Fandi’s last goal for the Lions as he retired from international football after the tournament.
After Bima retired from playing in 2016, he took up an assistant coaching job at his former club Indonesian side Persiba Balikpapan before entering the National Team fold for his first stint as a Head Coach.
At 42, Bima will be the second-youngest Head Coach at this Suzuki Cup.
Photo from PSSI
This year’s tournament squad possesses an average of 24.7 years, with only one player above 30. Only eight were in the 2016 squad as Bima looks to freshen up his squad.
One to look out for is attacking midfielder Stefano Lilipaly. The Netherlands-born 28-year-old started his career in the Dutch Eredivisie with FC Utrecht.
He was one of three overage players in the 2018 Asian Cup squad and finished as the joint-top scorer for Indonesia in that tournament with four goals in five games.
The Bali United midfielder has already put Singapore to the sword once, scoring in a 2-1 group-stage win in 2016.
Defender Hansamu Yama, captain at just 23, is another key player to look out for. The Barito Puetra centre-back was only called into the 2016 squad at the semi-final stage due to injuries.
He went on to score a goal seven minutes into the semi-final first leg tie against Vietnam and netted again in the final against Thailand.
Goalkeepers: Andritany Addhiyasa, Awan Setho, Muhammad Ridho
Defenders: I Putu Gede, Gavin Kwan, Hansamu Yama (captain), Fachruddin Aryanto, Bagas Adi, Ricky Farjin, Alfath Fatier, Rizki Pora
Midfielders: Zulfiandi, Muhammad Hargianto, Bayu Pradana, Stefano Lilipaly, Evan Dimas, Septian David,
Forwards: Irfan Jaya, Andik Vermansyah, Febri Haryadi, Riko Simanjutak, Dedik Setiawan, Alberto Goncalves