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Indonesia set for Malaysia in second leg of AFF Cup final JAKARTA - Three days after their 3-0 defeat against Malaysia, the Indonesian national football squad is set for the second leg of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Cup final match to decide the cup winner.

Indonesia had a light training session on Tuesday where the team's Austrian head coach Alfred Riedl has said the focus has been set on winning and not goals. "Before thinking about the score, we want to think about winning the match first," Riedl said, as quoted by the Jakarta Globe. "The most important thing is to get the first goal, because there will be no second and third goal without the first one."

Riedl added that strategic changes are difficult to conduct at this stage of the tournament and one day before the match as the team has already found its playing style.

"I just had a talk with each of the players to boost their mind-set and to know whether they're ready for tomorrow's game. That's more important than training," Riedl stated.

Indonesia will be supported by a surely packed Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, which is fit to hold 88,000 people. The team was undefeated in their first five home matches during the tournament, including a 5-1 victory over Malaysia.

However, controversy has surrounded the first leg of the final as angry Indonesians have complained that Malaysia's national team cheated.

Nurdin Halid, head of the Indonesian Football Association, said a powder which causes itchiness and allergic reactions was discovered in front of Indonesia's goal net in the Bukit Jalil football stadium in Kuala Lumpur.

According to Halid, the suspicious powder affected Indonesian goalkeeper Markus Haris Maulana and other defensive players as it caused itchiness which had a negative effect in their performance during the first leg match.

In addition, the Indonesian team claimed that, during the match, Malaysian supporters were aiming laser beams at their eyes. The game was stopped after 53 minutes and the Indonesian team walked off the field in protest.

Stadium authorities called for measure and warned that the match could be suspended if that behavior continued. The game eventually resumed after five minutes and Malaysia then scored three goals in minutes 53, 71, and 68.

Indonesia has announced that it will file a formal protest with the AFF as the team claims it was terrorized since they were in a bus heading towards the stadium.

And while the controversy continues, the Jakarta Metropolitan Police said it is planning to deploy around 10,000 police officers to the stadium to ensure nothing gets out of hand. Furthermore, the Malaysian team canceled their practice and decided to conduct drills at their hotel for security reasons. Several Malaysian journalists have been covering the final wearing Indonesian colors to avoid any confrontations.

The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. local time on Wednesday evening.



Posted in General @ 29 December 2010 09:14 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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