Football Tribe Indonesia
Strengths -Indra Sjafri will continue his magic at a different level, with the U-22 team, after his successful years coaching U-19 side. He will be looking to continue his attacking and attractive gameplay, as many of his players have had better chances to shine at club level. This team is quietly strong, with cohesion and communication being amongst their strongest points.
Weaknesses – A lack of pre-tournament friendlies may be a slight problem for this team heading into the tournament. All three friendlies were against local giant clubs – Bhayangkara FC, Arema FC, and Madura United – and all ended in draws. Indra admits there is a lot of homework for them to do before flying to Cambodia to face Myanmar on Monday, and he admits that they had problems in front of goal. Unfortunately, they haven’t had a single friendly match outside Indonesia and feel a real away atmosphere.
Player to Watch – Osvaldo Haay will be the player who his teammates turn to for this tournament. Recently awarded as Liga 1 Best Young Player, expectations will be high for the winger. At the age of 20, he is one of the most expensive young players in the league and has also experienced training in Spain. Hopefully, he will be able to just enjoy the game and showcase his talent with the national jersey after he didn’t make the cut to play in it during the 2018 Asian Games.
Strengths – Myanmar will never be an easy opponent for Indonesia, and Indra Sjafri even claimed that the first game could be the key to see which side goes on to reach the next phase. The White Angels are currently coached by Bulgarian manager Velizar Popov, and they look like they will adopt an East European playing style, with rough and direct buildup play, energetic for the full 90 minutes.
Weaknesses – Same like Indonesia, Myanmar have also had bad friendlies before heading to the tournament. They narrowly lost 1-0 from Oman and Qatar on a long journey to the Mid-East. They were able to experience the away atmosphere, but the long journey may have an effect on their fitness level.
Player to Watch – Win Naing Tun may one of the youngest members in the U-22 team, but the 18-year-old is the lethal weapon that the Indonesian defenders must pay attention to. He finished as the top scorer at the AFF U-19 Tournament last year in Indonesia, helping his side finish as runners-up.