Indonesia billionaire asks players to be patriotic like Vietnam's

By Hoang An   January 18, 2024 | 03:30 am PT
Indonesia billionaire asks players to be patriotic like Vietnam's
Indonesia players celebrate the equalizer against Iraq in the Asian Cup group stage game on Jan. 15, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) president Erick Thohir said he appreciated the patriotic spirit of Vietnamese players as showed against Japan in the Asian Cup group stage match.

"Vietnam are a tough opponent," Thohir said.

"Seven players were injured and absent, but they still scored two goals against Japan before losing 4-2. So, we are not allowed to underestimate Vietnam. Their strength is the patriotism that they show when playing for the national football team."

Thohir, 54, was Indonesia's Minister of State Owned Enterprises from 2019, and has been president of PSSI since last year.

This billionaire wants Indonesian players to learn from the patriotic spirit of Vietnam, when the two teams meet in the second round of the Asian Cup group on Friday.

"Indonesia need to learn patriotism from Vietnam," he said.

"I see the players fought well in the recent defeat to Iraq, but they need to put in more effort. If Vietnam can do that, why can't we?"

In the opening round, Vietnam made a splash by leading Japan 2-1, although they still lost 4-2 in the end.

Coach Philippe Troussier and the team received many compliments for their playing style and spirit, especially as Japan had previously won 10 matches in a row, defeating big teams such as Germany and Turkey.

Indonesia also had about 10 minutes to hold off Iraq at 1-1, but ultimately lost 3-1.

Vietnam and Indonesia must go all out to maintain hope of advancing. The team that lose the match will most likely be eliminated and a draw could send both teams home early.

Indonesia have a very strong team under coach Shin Tae-yong, while Vietnam put trust in possession football with coach Philippe Troussier.

The match between Vietnam and Indonesia is one of the most anticipated in the group stage.

The match will take place at 9:30 p.m. Friday (Hanoi time) and will be reported live on VnExpress International.

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