Indonesia (ranked 155) was underestimated before Curacao, a team 71 places above them on the FIFA rankings in a friendly match at Gelora Bandung Stadium (West Java). However, the brilliant performance of the duo Pratama Arhan and naturalized player Marc Klok helped Indonesia surprise.
Curacao led the home team early thanks to a goal from striker Rangelo Janga. However, just 5 minutes later, Klok scored the equalizer for the team of thousands of islands. The Dutch-born midfielder continues to be an important piece of the Indonesian game at the moment.
Indonesia and Curacao created a chase for the score for the rest of the first half, when Fachruddin Aryanto and Juninho Bacuna respectively scored for both teams. Juninho Bacuna, a former Rangers midfielder and now with Birmingham City (England’s First Division), showed his class when he scored in the 25th minute.
Juninho and his brother Leandro Bacuna, a former Aston Villa player, are two prominent players of Curacao in this match. Curacao’s squad against Indonesia also has many other famous names playing in Europe’s top leagues such as Kenji Gorre (Boavista, Portuguese league), Jeremy Antonisse (PSV) or central defender Cuco Martina , who last season also played in the Dutch league.
However, on a day of ecstasy, the Indonesian players surprised a stronger opponent. The goal in the 56th minute of striker Dimas Drajad helped The team of thousands of islands completed the 3-2 comeback against Curacao.
Indonesia’s left-back, Pratama Arhan, became a hero as he assisted in both goals from Fachruddin and Dimas. Indonesia’s expected goal index (xG) in this match is also up to 2.19, higher than Curacao (1.91). Coach Shin Tae-yong’s team continues to show signs of progress ahead of the 2022 AFF Cup at the end of the year.
Indonesia won 3 of the last 4 matches, including two unexpected victories against stronger opponents such as Kuwait (Asian Cup qualifying) and Curacao. The victory over the representative from Central America helped Indonesia increase 2 places on the FIFA rankings, from 155 to 153.
The team of thousands of islands will continue to have a second friendly match with Curacao on September 27. In the past, Curacao faced Vietnam in the final of the King’s Cup of Thailand (King’s Cup) in 2019. In that match, coach Park Hang-seo’s team drew 1-1 and then lost. 4-5 on penalties.
Tuong Linh – Zing.vn | 23:17 September 24, 2022