A daunting task now awaits the Garudas when they visit Vietnam for the second leg, with coach Shin Tae-yong having immediately to address the team’s weaknesses, especially on their teamwork.
I GUSTI AGUNG BAGUS ANGGA PUTRA, ADRIAN FAJRIANSYAH
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JAKARTA, KOMPAS — Indonesia failed to capitalize on home support as Vietnam held it to a goalless draw in the first leg of the 2022 AFF Cup semifinals at Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Friday (6/1/2023). A daunting task now awaits the Garudas when they visit Vietnam for the second leg, with coach Shin Tae-yong having immediately to address the team’s weaknesses, especially on their teamwork.
The draw was clearly not an encouraging result for the players, who face an away match on Monday (9/1) at My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi.
With the team failing to earn full points at home, Shin is well aware of the huge task his team will have against its opponent, which will be trying to reach the fourth AFF Cup final. Vietnam will certainly do everything they can to silence Indonesia.
"The players have given their best. Indeed, there were some chances they failed to capitalize on properly. It's deplorable we couldn't win. However, I have to admit the team worked really hard during the match,” Shin told the post-match press conference.
The lack of teamwork during the match saw the Indonesian offensives easily snuffed out by Vietnam’s defenders. After winning possession of the ball and preparing to transition to an attack, midfielder Marc Klok at times looked confused about where to direct the ball, as none of his teammates were in an ideal position to move forward.
Left back Pratama Arhan often arrived late to provide backup when midfield players were getting ready to pass. In addition to teamwork, Indonesia also slumped in creativity in its attacks.
On the other side, Vietnam built a solid wall to defend its territory, with goalkeeper Dang Van Lam putting in an impressive performance by making two important saves in the first half.
Shin was still confident that Indonesia stood a chance to overcome Vietnam and advance to the final.
From the kickoff to halftime, Vietnam's defenders displayed a particularly cunning offside trap to dampen attacks from Indonesia, which started the match with an aggressive strategy.
Overall, Indonesia made six shots on goal, two of them aiming right at a goal post. The host built its attack largely through long passes sent straight into Vietnam’s defensive zone.
Apart from the discouraging outcome, Shin was still confident that Indonesia stood a chance to overcome Vietnam and advance to the final.
The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) is aiming for the championship trophy. It will be a step better from previous occasions, during which the national team managed to reach the final six times, only to end up losing.
The draw against Vietnam has added to Shin's winless record over his counterpart Park Hang-seo on the opposing team. Shin suffered a defeat in their only previous meeting in a senior competition. Despite his lackluster record against his rival, Shin has tried to convince Indonesian football fans that the current national team has turned into a well-developed crop of players than before.
“The public must know that the current Indonesian national team is different from before. Mentally and physically, they are all different. You don't need to worry about the challenges playing at Vietnam’s headquarters," he said.
The team’s evident pitfall in the match against Vietnam was that it rarely demonstrated attacks that were built up by relying on quick touches on the ball, especially in the last third of the match. When the Garudas did, they often fell apart due to miscommunication, resulting in the loss of momentum to move more deeply into Vietnam's defensive zone.
With two days to prepare for the second leg of the semifinals, Shin has the tough job of fixing the players’ game teamwork. If only their teamwork was better in Jakarta, Vietnam would certainly not have been able to force a draw.
Match statistics show that Vietnam had more ball possession. The "Golden Star" team recorded 59 percent possession against Indonesia’s 41 percent. However, Vietnam was no better at attacking, firing only three shots on goal with just one on target.
Spearheaded by Phan Van Dhuc and Nguyen Tien Linh, Vietnam’s attacks did not pose a serious threat to Indonesia. Their attacking ball, which was distributed from the midfield and wingers Vu Van Tanh and Doan Van Hao, was repeatedly by Indonesian fullbacks Asnawi Mangkualam and Pratama Arhan.
Despite failing to produce the best goal chances, coach Park said he was quite satisfied with the performance of his players.
“Away games are always difficult. Our players proved they competed with high enthusiasm and a fighting spirit, so we could achieve our target. I thank them,” he said.
With the AFF Cup semifinals being played both at home and away, away goals will carry more weight in the event that the same two teams draw in both their matches. It will be a tough mission in Vietnam, but let’s hope the Garuda team can produce at least a draw, but a better scoreboard than 0-0 to qualify for the final.