Jakarta. Indonesia's under-22 national team led by coach Luis Milla Aspas will compete in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia, and is scheduled to play the opening match against Thailand on Tuesday (15/08).
The team of 21 players left for Malaysia on Saturday.
After the latest selection, Milla decided to exclude four players from the squad: goalkeeper Ravi Murdianto of PS TNI, defender Bagas Adi Nugroho of Arema FC, and two midfielders Gian Zola of Persib Bandung and Miftahul Hamdi of Bali United.
"Ravi is a good player, but the regulations allow us to register only two goalkeepers. Bagas has been injured, while Zola and Hamdi should face hard competition in the midfield," assistant coach Bima Sakti said in a statement on Friday.
Former Ajax Amsterdam striker Ezra Walian is included in the squad and has joined his Indonesian teammates. Ezra decided not to renew his contract with Ajax in June, and was reportedly invited by the English Premier League's West Ham United for trial games.
"The coaches are satisfied with the condition of all players, including Ezra," Bima said.
Indonesia is pooled in Group B with Cambodia, Timor Leste, the Philippines, Thailand (15-time winners and defending champions), and one-time winners and seven-time runner-ups Vietnam.
Milla now needs an achievement after Indonesia failed in a pre-qualifier of the 2018 Asian Football Confederation Under-23 Championship in July.
The squad only won two of the six international matches it played since Milla joined the team in January.
The 21 players selected by the coach to play at the 2017 SEA Games are:
Goalkeepers: Kurniawan Kartika Aji (Persiba Balikpapan), Satria Tama (Persegres Gresik United) and Mochammad Diky Indrayana (Bali United).
Defenders: Andy Setyo (PS TNI), Hansamu Yama Pranata (Barito Putera), Ryuji Utomo (Persija), Putu Gede (Bhayangkara FC), Gavin Kwan Adsit (Barito Putera), Ricky Fajrin (Bali United) and Rezaldi Hehanusa (Persija Jakarta).
Midfielders: Muhammad Hargianto (Persija Jakarta), Asnawi Mangkualam Bahar (PSM Makassar), Hanif Abdurrauf Sjahbandi (Arema FC), Evan Dimas (Bhayangkara FC), Septian David Maulana (Mitra Kukar), Febri Haryadi (Persib Bandung), Osvaldo Haay (Persipura Jayapura) and Saddil Ramdani (Persela Lamongan).
Forwards: Ezra Walian (free agent), Marinus Mariyanto Wanewar (Persipura Jayapura) and Yabes Roni (Bali United).