Rahmad pleased after Indonesia book SEA Games semis berth

Indonesia Under-23 coach Rahmad Darmawan praised his side for the way they coped with Myanmar after they claimed a 1-0 win at the Thuwunna Stadium on Monday.

Merah Putih booked their place in the semi-finals of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games after edging the hosts in a feisty encounter; Alfin Tuasalamony scoring the winner from the spot in the 36th minute after he had been tripped inside the area by opposition keeper Pyae Phyo Aung.

The result saw them finish second in Group B ahead of Myanmar based on their head-to-head record after both ended the group stage level on seven points.

Given Myanmar only needed to avoid defeat to progress, Indonesia did extremely well to put them under pressure from the opening whistle, as well as keep them at bay in the second half when Park Sung-hwa’s charges were hunting for an equaliser.

And given his side ultimately managed to nullify an attack that had scored seven goals in their previous three games, Rahmad had words of praise for them at the final whistle.

“Today [Monday] we showed good character,” he said.

“We tried to press them and stay organised. We didn’t give them many chances and we always kept the pressure on each player.

“Our plan was just to not give any chances to the opponents, because they have two or three very good players who are very speedy.”

In what was a highly-charged affair, the Myanmar supporters’ wrath was incurred on numerous occasions, including when their opponents were awarded the penalty as well as when Ye Lin Aung was sent off in injury-time.

However, Rahmad believes the referee got the crucial decisions correct.

“I thought the referee was good,” he added. “At times there were mistakes but it’s normal as there were many spectators and it can affect the concentration.

“I think the red card was deserved as it was unsporting behaviour.

“The penalty? 100 per cent. You can see it on the replay.”

Indonesia will find out who their last-four opponents are on Tuesday when defending champions Malaysia take on Vietnam for top spot in Group A.

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