JAKARTA (15 Dec 2010) – Everything seems to be working in Indonesia’s favour. Tickets are sold out which means up to 90,000 fans will be at the Gelora Bung Karno to watch their team in action in the first leg semifinal of this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup. Indonesia President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, along with a host of dignitaries will be on hand to lend their support.
Indonesia also do not have any players suspended or injured, which means coach Alfred Riedl will have all options open to him. Even the weather seems to be holding out, allowing the pitch to be in the best of conditions ahead of the game tomorrow.
Then there’s also the best incentive of all, the USD 550,500 that has been promised to the team if they bag the prestigious trophy for the very first time in the history of the event.
“We are optimistic of delivering a good result to the fans. While we are all fit and ready to play tomorrow, we have to respect them too. They have nine naturalised players who are good. They are no longer the Philippines of before,” said assistant coach Wolfgang Pikal at the Pre-Match Press Conference today.
He said that the team had watched their opponents’ game and have identified their strengths and weaknesses.
When asked about the Younghusband brothers (James and Philip), Pikal warned that they could be dangerous. “They performed well in the previous matches and we have to contain them.”
Indonesia have been impressive in the run-up to the semifinals and look to have their best chance to not only make the final but go on to record a historic win at the end.
Earlier today, with tickets for the first match sold out, thousands of fans lined up for hours to try and get their hands on the tickets for the second match. In fact, it’s selling so fast, local officials are confident it will also be sold out by the end of the day.
Meanwhile, it was revealed at the team managers’ meeting today that over 2,000 security personnel which includes police, army, secret service and internal security, will be mobilised for the match.