asean news

Dollo remains hopeful despite semi-final defeat

December 16, 2008

Indonesia coach Benny Dollo insisted that his side still had plenty to play for in the return match of their AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final against Thailand, despite losing 1-0 at home to the three-time champions in the first leg.

The Thais dominated the match at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta and claimed a deserved victory thanks to Teerasil Dangda's sixth-minute header.

But the failure of the visitors to add to that early strike gives the Indonesians some hope for the second leg at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok on Saturday.

"The ball is round, anything can happen. It's not impossible for us to recover and win away," said Dollo, who was disappointed with the manner in which his defence allowed the early goal. "No one challenged the Thai player when he went up to head the ball.

"But we have not lost heart and will battle with all our might in Thailand."

An away victory at the intimidating Gelora Bung Karno would normally be a cause for celebration but given the chances that his players had to add to the score, Thailand coach Peter Reid could not help but feel a bit disappointed.

"It's only half time, there's still another half to go in Bangkok. Today, I felt we could have done better and maybe scored more," said the Englishman, who felt that Indonesia keeper Markus Harison played a big part in keeping the score down.

"He made some outstanding saves. But our strikers also had some great chances."