Indonesia keeper apologizes for provocative dance in front of South Korea player

By Hoang An   April 27, 2024 | 12:21 am PT
Indonesia goalkeeper Ernando Ari apologized for his antics after saving a South Korean player's penalty in the shootout in the quarterfinals of the U23 Asian Cup.

"I would like to apologize to the South Korean fans, coaching staff, and players," Ernando said on KBS.

"I did not mean to taunt the opponent, I was just too excited after saving the penalty. I did it because I idolize goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, and because I have faced him once."

After saving the 12th penalty by Lee Kang-hee, Ernando imitated Martinez by rolling his shoulder in an exaggerated manner in front of the South Korean midfielder. Defender Pratama Arhan then scored the deciding penalty to help Indonesia win the shootout 11-10 and advance to the semifinals.

Ernando’s actions did not sit well with the referee, as he was shown a yellow card. However, the 22-year-old goalkeeper was unfazed and still smiling despite the warning.

Ernando Ari dances after blocking a penalty shot by South Korea's Lee Kang-hee in the U23 Asian Cup quarterfinals, April 25, 2024.

Ernando said he was influenced by the style of the Argentine goalkeeper, who won the 2022 World Cup. Ernando had previously competed against Martinez when Indonesia played a friendly against Argentina in June 2023.

The Indonesian goalie also revealed the secret to his team’s victory over South Korea in the race to qualify for the Paris Olympics, attributing it to coach Shin Tae-yong.

"Coach Shin is very important to Indonesians, so we all want to make him proud," Ernando added. "This result will help us focus more on the tournament and not miss the opportunity to qualify for the Olympics."

Ernando currently plays for Persebaya Surabaya Football Club and is Indonesia’s number one keeper. He featured in all three of Indonesia’s recent victories over the Vietnam national team in the 2023 Asian Cup and the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Standing at 1.8 meters tall, he has good footwork, scoring the 11th penalty in the shootout against South Korea.

Speaking about his penalty shootout technique, Ernando said he learned a lot from his loss against Vietnam in the 2023 U23 AFF Cup final, where he could not beat keeper Quan Van Chuan from the penalty spot. "This time I just focused on my shot without worrying about how the goalkeeper would save it," he said.

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