Thursday, November 5, 2009

Indonesia's Uruguayan experiment

After two years shrouded away in the wilds of South America, Indonesia’s great Uruguayan experiment is ready for its unveiling.

Saturday sees the Indonesian youngsters who played in the Uruguayan Quinta Division for two years compete in qualifying for the 2010 AFC Under-19 Championship. Matches in the six-team Group F run Nov. 9-17 at Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Bandung.

Team manager Demis Djamaoedin said the players were in good condition.

“The training curve has declined, and the coach has started tactical training,” Demis said on Tuesday. “The boys have showed high determination. Their main goal is to play well, to qualify into the final round and to beat Australia.”

The team has trained in Bandung since early October. It played its final tryout match against the Bandung Under-21 team, which ended in a 1-1 draw. Mohammad Zaenal Haq scored the only goal for the Indonesian U-19s.

“We earned a good experience from the match. We scored, conceded a goal, were intimidated by the opponents and got bad calls from the refs. It gave the boys a good experience,” Demis said.

Joining Indonesia in the group are Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.

Indonesia opens against Singapore at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Japan plays Taiwan at 6 p.m., followed by Australia and Hong Kong at 9 p.m. -JG.

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