Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated that Indonesia's national football team performed well to counterbalance the Argentine team despite the 0-2 defeat during the FIFA Match Day here on Monday (June 19) evening.

The president also commended the performance of captain Asnawi Mangkualam and his team after the match concluded.

"Outstanding, I believe our athletes' hard work was outstanding," Jokowi stated after the match at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium here.

"We should understand that despite Argentina being on the first rank (of FIFA ranking) and we are in the 149th place, we can counterbalance them. Though they scored two goals on us, we can balance them," he emphasized.

The president expressed hope that the match against the 2022 World Cup champion would mark the start of the awakening of Indonesian football.

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He said one way to realize it is to arrange matches pitting the Indonesia national football team with other teams of higher FIFA ranking.

"At the earlier match with Palestine, whose ranking is 93rd, we can hold them 0-0. Now with Argentina, the first ranking, while we are at the 149th (position), we only lost 2-0. It was amazing," Jokowi stated.

The match with Argentina will be a major learning experience for the Garuda Squad, he added.

"As we see, they were nervous in the start. However, in the second half, they were outstanding, they counterbalanced (the opponent). This will be an experience and an evaluation for our national team," the president stated.

During the Monday match at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Indonesia lost 0-2 to Argentina by Leandro Paredes' long kick in the 38th minute and Cristian Romero's header in the 55th minute.

Meanwhile, at the FIFA Match Day with the Palestinian national football team on Wednesday (June 14) in Surabaya's Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium, the score was 0-0.

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Translator: Gilang Galiartha, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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