Indonesia's U-16 player Mochammad Supriadi (number 11) fights for the ball with Northern Mariana Islands players as coach Fakhri Husaini looks on. (Photo courtesy of the Indonesian Football Association PSSI)

Indonesia to Face Thailand to Earn Place in AFF U-16 Championship


SEPTEMBER 20, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesia's under-16 national team will face host Thailand on Wednesday (20/09) in a 2018 Asian Football Confederation U-16 Championship prequalifier, with coach Fakhri Husaini promising that his team has learned from past mistakes and will not underestimate their opponent.

"In our last game against Timor Leste, I spotted mistakes in our defense and midfield. We've corrected those mistakes in training, so we'll be much stronger when we face Thailand," Fakhri said in a statement on Tuesday (19/09).

Fakhri also coached the "Garuda Asia" (Asian Eagles) team when it was beaten 0-1 by Thailand in July at the AFF U-15 Championship, where Indonesia recorded three losses, one draw and just one win.

"We met them at AFF in July and we lost 0-1. I believe the Thai coach will only make a few changes to the team we met last time," he said.

"What I got from reviewing their match against Northern Mariana Islands is that they haven't really changed [their style of playing]. Thailand beat Mariana 10-0 [Indonesia beat them 18-0], but we'll still be careful against them."

"I always say to my players, respect every opponent, never underestimate any of them."

The coach noticed Thailand had rested some players in the game against Mariana on Monday to keep their star players fit for the game against Indonesia.

"Their key players were being rested yesterday. We'll also be extra careful with the players who each scored two goals [forwards Nattakit Butsing and Waragon Thongbai, and midfielder Thanarin Thumsen]," Fakhri said.

Meanwhile, Indonesian captain David Maulana also offered his own view about Thailand.

"They beat us a few months ago, but my teammates and I will never give up this time. We'll keep fighting for Indonesia," he said.

Indonesia tops Group G in the prequalifiers after two wins, followed by Thailand who has only played one game. A win against Thailand will almost guarantee Indonesia qualification to the championship.

Only 15 of 45 teams in the prequalification stage will get to play in the championship in Malaysia next year.