Stefano Lilipaly has praised his the team achievement in the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup for putting Indonesia back on the map of international football.
The Garuda Squad returned to the competitive football for the first time after two-year FIFA’s ban when they finished as runner-up in the last year tournament.
“We put Indonesia back on the map,” said the 27-year-old Dutch-born midfielder in an exclusive interview with the-AFC.com
“We started all over with a new team and everyone was thinking we were the underdogs and would not even make it past the group stage.
“In the end we got to the final, unfortunately we did not win it, but I think we surprised everyone.”
The tournament also marked Cambuur star’s first international goal for Indonesia, when he brilliantly scored the winning-goal against Singapore in the final group stage game.
“For me that was a very special moment,” Lilipaly added. “Because it was my first goal for the national team and it was one of the most important goals in the tournament.
“If I didn’t score that we wouldn’t have made the semi-finals.”
Lilipaly had a tremendous campaign in the Netherlands second division this season where he scored eight goals since joining Cambuur in January transfer window.