`Garuda` may beat Philippines but semifinals dream over

`Garuda` may beat Philippines but semifinals dream over

Indonesian footballers gave greetings after the match against Thailand in the AFF 2018 Cup continued match at Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand, Saturday (11/17/2018). Indonesia were beaten by hosts 4-2. (ANTARA PHOTO/Akbar Nugroho Gumay/kye.)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Whatever the outcome of the final soccer match between Indonesia and the Philippines, Sunday (Nov. 25), the Garuda team won`t make it to the semifinals.

The Indonesian squad is set to play its last AFF 2018 Group B Cup match against the Philippines, which will be held at the Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta on Nov. 25.

Before facing the Philippines, the Garuda squad suffered a 2-4 loss against Thailand at the Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok, last Saturday.

In its first group match in Singapore, Indonesia was defeated by the hosts 0-1. Singapore`s lone goal was scored by its captain Hariss Harun in the 37th minute.

Later, Indonesia crushed Timor Leste`s squad 3-1 in the match, which was held at the Bung Karno Main Stadium, earning the team just three points.

Regarding the failure in the previous two matches, team chief coach Bima Sakti accepted complete responsibility for his squad not qualifying at the group stage in the 2018 AFF Cup.

"I think this is not the fault of the players, but the coach," he said after his team underwent exercises at the Bung Karno main stadium, Thursday, in preparation to play against the Philippines.

Sakti said the entire staff and coach were ready to accept any decision made by the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) concerning their future.

The 42-year-old coach stated he was even ready to resign following the failure of the national team.

"We are a team of coaches and accept all the consequences and decisions taken by the federation," Sakti stressed.

The coach representing the Indonesian national team also apologized to the people of the country for Indonesia`s disappointing performance in the 2018 AFF Cup.

However, he hoped the community would continue to support the national team, which will now face the Philippines in the AFF Cup. "We will try to win the match," Sakti promised.

The Indonesian soccer team will not advance to the AFF Cup semi-final 2018 after the group B match between the Philippines and Thailand, ended in a 1-1 draw, Wednesday (Nov. 21).

After Supachai Jaided hit a goal for Thailand in the 56th minute, the Philippines` substitute player Jovin Bedic equalized the score in the 81st minute in a match held at Panaad Stadium, the Philippines. Both Thailand and the Philippines have seven points each.

Indonesia will not be able to score more points as they can earn a maximum of six points if they win the last group B match against the Philippines.

Indonesia`s hope of making it to the top two slots in group B and be counted among the top four teams was dashed.

Currently, Indonesia has three points in the standings, with only one match left to play against the Philippines.

After the Indonesian national soccer team was eliminated from the AFF 2018 Cup competition, the coach said a good quality national team could not be formed overnight.

According to him, the national team should have a strong foundation, which could be achieved by nurturing good and young players by holding regular competitions.

"Hopefully the failure in the AFF Cup will be a lesson for us," Sakti noted.

He also gave the example of Thailand and Vietnam as countries in Southeast Asia that have managed their young players well.

The soccer squads of the two countries have grown rapidly and have had a positive impact on their respective national teams. The national teams of Thailand and Vietnam are not only respected in Southeast Asia but in entire Asia.

Both Thailand and Vietnam will participate in the 2019 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

"Thai and Vietnamese soccer players are selected and coached at an early age. Thus their foundation is good," Sakti revealed.

Sakti was selected as the Indonesian national team coach suddenly.

He was appointed at the end of October 2018 or approximately two weeks before the AFF 2018 Cup rolled out.

Earlier, Bima was the assistant coach of the U-23 and senior Indonesian teams, handled by Spanish coach Luis Milla, whose working contract came to an end last October.

After being given the responsibility, Sakti did not have much time to devise tactics and strategies for the players. That`s why he chose to apply the old tactics ala Luis Milla. The players who were selected were those trusted by Milla too.

Sakti emphasized it was not easy to build and train a national team in a short time. Therefore, he asked the public and football lovers to support anyone in the Indonesian national team coach, be a foreigner or a local coach.

"Give as much support as possible because it is not easy to be part of the national team," Sakti stressed.

The Garuda team, along with Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and the Philippines, is placed in group B in the AFF Suzuki 2018 tournament.

Editing by Andi Abdussalam