Indonesian footballer admits intention to fight Vietnamese defender

By Trung Thu   November 10, 2023 | 02:20 am PT
Indonesian forward Dendy Sulistyawan admitted in an interview that he really wanted to fight left-back Doan Van Hau during the game against Vietnam in the semifinals of the 2022 AFF Cup.
Doan Van Hau (in red) clashes into Asnawi Mangkualam in the second leg of AFF Cup semifinal between Vietnam and Indonesia on January 9, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

Doan Van Hau (in red) clashes into Asnawi Mangkualam in the second leg of AFF Cup semifinal between Vietnam and Indonesia on Jan. 9, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

Sulistyawan recalled the incident during an interview on YouTube on Tuesday. The 27-year-old forward and Hau played in the game at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Jan. 6, 2023. The two got into a heated situation when Hau made a dangerous tackle on Sulistyawan.

"At that moment, I was so angry and really wanted to fight him," Sulistyawan said. "That was a two-leg tackle, so he deserved to be hit."

However, Dendy reminded himself that if he reacted the wrong way, he would get a red card and a disadvantage to his team. The incident stopped with the two pushing and shoving each other. The game finished 0-0 before Indonesia lost 2-0 in the second leg three days later.

Hau continued to be in the spotlight of the second leg with a series of collisions, including one with right-back Asnawi Mangkualam that resulted in both getting booked. Later, midfielder Marc Klok dived and tried to get Hau a second yellow but failed, as Hau did not make contact.

Before Sulistyawan, defender Sandy Walsh also talked about Hau in an interview. When asked which player he wanted to elbow the most, Walsh firmly said it was Hau.

Hau, 24, has been the subject of criticism and hatred of Indonesian players and fans since the SEA Games 30 final in 2019. When the score was 0-0, Hau made a hard tackle on Evan Dimas, one of Indonesia’s key players. Dimas had to quit the game and return on a wheelchair. Hau then scored twice to help Vietnam win 3-0 and claim the SEA Games gold medal for the first time.

Vietnam and Indonesia will be in the same group in the second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers and the 2023 Asian Cup.

However, Indonesia players might not have the chance to face Hau as he has a heel injury. After getting married to his beauty pageant girlfriend Doan Hai My on Nov. 11, Hau will go to Singapore for surgery and will take three to six months to recover.

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