Indonesia forward Egy Maulana Vikri, center, in action during the team's match against Vietnam in the 2017 Asean Football Federation Under-18 Championship in Myanmar on Monday (11/09). (Photo courtesy of the PSSI)

Indonesia Needs Big Win Over Brunei to Reach AFF U-18 Championship Semifinal


SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesia's under-18 national team is focusing on its last Group B match against Brunei at the 2017 Asean Football Federation U-18 Championship in Myanmar on Wednesday (13/09).

Indonesia coach Indra Sjafri admitted that his side lacked coordination when it was hammered 0-3 by Vietnam on Monday, resulting in the Garuda squad having to wait until the last group-stage match to see its chance to advance to the semifinal.

"It was shocking and beyond my expectation. The boys played very unorganized in defense," Indra said in a statement released by the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) on Tuesday.

Feby Eka Putra, Indra's hat-trick hero when sinking the Philippines 9-0, developed a sudden fever shortly before the Vietnam encounter, which affected the outcome.

"Feby suddenly got a fever just hours before the kick-off against Vietnam. I had to change the strategy and put striker Hanis Saghara on the center-forward, which turned out to be a mistake," the coach said.

"That's why I shifted Egy [Maulana Vikri] to the center in the second half, but the boys couldn't destroy Vietnam's wall though.

"We're now focusing on next game against Brunei."

Vietnam, the host Myanmar and Indonesia will have to wait for the outcome of their last matches.

Indonesia must win big over Brunei if it wants to go through to the next round and with Myanmar facing Vietnam in the last match, there is still a chance for Indra and the boys to repeat their 2013 victory in the championship.

Myanmar brought down Brunei 7-0 on Saturday and blasted the Philippines 7-0 on Monday, which gives it a 13-goal difference, better than Indonesia, which is currently in third place with a seven-goal difference. This gives an indication of how big Indonesia must score against Brunei.

"I hope the boys still have good attitude to win big against Brunei," team manager Roni Fauzan said.