Indonesia lack sportsmanship: Thailand coach

By Hoang An   May 16, 2023 | 08:22 pm PT
Indonesia lack sportsmanship: Thailand coach
Coach Issara Sritaro (R) stays out of the brawl between players and coaching staff of Thailand and Indonesia during the SEA Games 32 men's football final on May 16, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
Thai coach Issara Sritaro has slammed Indonesia for lacking sportsmanship in the SEA Games men's football final on Tuesday night.

In the last minute of the first half, an Indonesian player was injured and the referee stopped the game. After the player was stretchered off, the referee gave the ball to Indonesian captain Rizky Ridho, who promptly sent a long pass to Ramadhan Sananta to chip over goalkeeper Soponwit Rakyart and score.

The Thai players protested to referee Kassem Matar Al-Hatmi, saying Ridho was supposed to give the ball back to them but instead took advantage of the situation.

But after discussing with the linesman, Al-Hatmi allowed the goal to stand.

"As a coach, I’m willing to accept defeats, even if it is 0-7 or 0-10," Sritaro told VnExpress after the 2-5 loss to Indonesia. "But losing this way is unacceptable. We spoke to the referee, but he said the goal was valid. Indonesia have played without sportsmanship in this game."

Sritaro said he was proud of his team’s fighting spirit for scoring twice in the second half to draw level and send the match into extra time.

When Yotsakorn Burapha scored just before the final whistle, the Thai players and coaching staff provoked Indonesia, which set off a brawl on the pitch.

When Indonesia’s Irfan Jauhari made it 3-2 in extra time, his team provoked Thailand which led to a second fight.

The referee handed out seven red and 12 yellow cards during the match, most of them during the two brawls.

"This is a lesson for Thailand’s young players that they have to keep a cool head at important times," Sritaro added.

He thought Thailand could have made another comeback in extra time but the red card shown to Jonathan Khemdee shut down their chance.

Thailand conceded two more goals as Indonesia won their first SEA Games gold medal since 1991.

Highlights of the SEA Games final between Thailand and Indonesia, May 16, 2023.

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