Indonesia should avoid Vietnam provocation on pitch: striker

By Hoang An   January 18, 2024 | 06:30 am PT
Indonesia should avoid Vietnam provocation on pitch: striker
Pratama Arhan (C)'s dangerous tackle on Nguyen Tuan Anh during the game between Vietnam and Indonesia in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Ahead of Friday's showdown in the Asian Cup group stage, striker Dimas Drajad said Indonesia are easily provoked into mistakes by Vietnam and they need to remain calm for victory.

"Indonesia often don’t have good results against Vietnam because we are easily provoked and cannot keep our composure," Indonesia newspaper Suara quoted Drajad as saying.

"Being overwhelmed by emotions made us unable to play our way and we just wanted to shoot. I faced Vietnam at the U19 tournament once, and their team have always played like that."

Drajad is an member of the Indonesia team that won the U19 AFF Cup in 2013. They lost 1-2 to Vietnam in the group stage, but won on penalties in the final.

In the last five encounters, Indonesian players have received 14 yellow cards, twice as many as Vietnam. In Vietnam's 4-0 victory over Indonesia in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, defender Pratama Arhan became the highlight when his tackle put Nguyen Tuan Anh in the air. These two players are expected to play in the upcoming match at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium.

In the first round of Asian Cup group stage, Vietnam didn’t receive any yellow cards when they lost 2-4 to Japan. Indonesia got two yellow cards while losing 1-3 to Iraq. The match between the two Southeast Asian teams will be crucial for both, because the losing team will most likely get eliminated early.

Indonesia under coach Shin Tae-yong have never won against Vietnam at any level. Indonesia won 3-2 against Vietnam in the SEA Games 32 men's football semifinals last year with coach Indra Sjafri.

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