Indonesia U-23 faced another exhibition match for the upcoming Asian Games. This time, they played Thailand U-23 in their home soil. The match didn’t end well for them because they are defeated with the score 1-2.
The match, which played in PTIK Stadium, went interesting at the beginning. Ten minutes after the kick-off, Indonesia nearly scored a goal from Ricky Fajrin’s heading. However, six minutes later Thailand was gifted after Victor Igbonefo, Indonesia naturalized defender, slipped and gave the ball away. Thankfully, Awan Setho saved his opponent shot.
The best chance for Indonesia came twice, in minute 21 and 43. Febri Hariyadi, Persib Bandung’s electric winger, found his shot scratching the bar after receiving a delightful pass from another naturalized player, Alberto Goncalves. In minute 43, Septian David’s freekick parried by Kwanchai Suklom and hit the bar.
The second half went much more interesting. Indonesia finally scored in minute 48 after Septian David coolly slotted Alberto superb crossing to Thailand’s net. Unfortunately, Indonesia advantage didn’t last long. Thailand scored three minutes later after Sansern Limwatthana capitalizing on an Indonesian defender’s mistake.
The War Elephants finally sealed their victory with a late goal from the substitute, Tanasith Siripala, who scored from a counter-attack situation.
After the match, Luis Milla, Indonesia’s head coach, said that he’s happy with the number of chances that his team made. However, he also admitted that there are many aspects that need to be improved if they want to raise their chance to win in Asian Games.
Milla and his team have a second chance to prove themselves. Both teams will meet again on Sunday in Pakansari Stadium, Bogor, Indonesia.