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Friday, December 5, 2008
Dollo relieved as Indonesia start with a win

Indonesia coach Benny Dollo expressed relief after his team kicked off their AFF Suzuki Cup campaign in Jakarta with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Myanmar in their Group A opener.

Dollo's side were beaten twice by Myanmar in an invitational tournament last month but the Indonesians turned the table at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium thanks to first-half goals by Budi Sudarsono and Firman Utina and a superb second-half strike by Bambang Pamungkas.

With the Suzuki Cup co-hosts eager to make amends for their opening-round exit in the last edition of the tournament, Dollo knew that an opening victory was imperative.

"In all my life as a coach, I was never so nervous," said the Indonesia coach after the match.

"You must understand that in the last few weeks, we lost twice to them (Myanmar). But we have worked very hard since then, I have pushed the boys in training and tonight we got the better of them.

"They pressured us and forced us back into defence. Today, they pressured us again early but the boys fought back and after 15 minutes it changed and we struck the goals."

The heavy loss leaves Myanmar with much work to do if they are to qualify for the semi-finals but coach Carlos Antonio Falopa remained confident about their chances of progress.

"Tonight, Indonesia had great support and they won. We made two mistakes and paid for it," the Brazilian said.

"Their players showed great individual skill and they won. This tournament is not over as we still have more matches to play."

Myanmar's clash on Sunday against Singapore is shaping up to be crucial after the two-time defending champions hammered Cambodia 5-0 to move to the top of the group on goal difference.

The Lions laboured at times to break down the group minnows but a pair of goals by Agu Casmir, a penalty by skipper Fahruddin Mustafic and a goal each for substitutes Indra Sahdan Daud and Noh Alam Shah provided a good return and delighted coach Raddy Avramovic.

"The players created a lot of chances and four of them managed to score tonight. It's a good win for us," said the Serbian.

"They tried to play to my instructions, some were more successful than others, but they all tried."




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