No reprieve for Indonesia as U-23 team loses

No reprieve for Indonesia as U-23 team loses
SEA Games Group A Football Match: Myanmar v Indonesia.

Indonesia's U-23 team was beaten 2-4 by Myanmar in the opening match at the SEA Games in Singapore on Tuesday to add to the nation's football woes following FIFA's ban on Indonesia.

Thura Shine opened the scoring for Myanmar with his goal in the 21st minute and Sung Si Thu doubled the score in the 37th minute.

Indonesia reduced the gap when Muhammad Lestaluhu scored a goal at the end of the first half.

Aung Si Thu reinstated his team's two-goal cushion in the 54th minute. And they put Indonesia in a worsening situation with their fourth goal, courtesy of Thiha Zaw, in the 70th minute. Nufiandani Ahmad duly pulled one back for Indonesia but Ajo Santoso's side found it too late to catch Myanmar, let alone overturn the score.

During its congress in Zurich last week, FIFA decided to suspend its affiliated body in Indonesia, the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI), after its call for the government to steer clear of football affairs was not heeded. Indonesia is banned from all international competitions with the SEA Games being an exception.

Indonesia is in Group A with Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore and Myanmar while Group B in made up of Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos and Timor Leste.

The 28th edition of the biennial multi-sport showcase among the 11 Southeast Asian nations will officially commence on Friday, but football and several other sports began competitions earlier.

The football competition was embroiled in match-fixing allegations, which led to the provisional suspension of the Timor-Leste team manager.

"Mr. Orlando Marques Henriques Mendes, the team manager of the Federação Futebol Timor-Leste U-23 national team, has been provisionally suspended from all football-related activity," the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a statement on Monday, according to Reuters.

Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said on Friday they had arrested an alleged local match-fixer and several "co-conspirators" of different nationalities without naming them just before the football tournament kicked off at the biennial games.

The CPIB also said some members of the Timor Leste party were assisting them in investigations.

Other sports already in competition include table tennis, netball and synchronized swimming.

The Indonesian table tennis team lost the chance to win a medal in the men's and women's doubles in the second day of competition in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Gilang Maulana/Akhmad Dahlan Haruri advanced to quarterfinals only to lose to Ning Gao/Hu Li of Singapore 4-11, 8-11, 9-11 in 19 minutes, as reported on the SEA Games website.

Their female compatriots, Gustin Dwijayanti and Kharisma Nur Hawwa, were defeated by Malaysia's Ying Ho and Rou You Lee 6-11, 8-11, 6-11 in 16 minutes.

In the singles event, Indonesian players also suffered losses after Novita Oktariyani lost to Suthasini Sawettabut 1-11, 7-11, 5-11 and Gustin Dwijayanti went down to Nanthana Komwong 10-12, 4-11, 11-7, 4-11.

The Indonesian synchronized swimming team trailed Singapore and Malaysia in the opening day of competition at the OCBC Aquatic Centre.

"Today's score is still 50 per cent ahead of completion. It's not final yet," team manager Jessica Resna was quoted by Antara news agency as saying on Tuesday.

Netball is making its long-awaited return to the SEA Games with six participating countries after it was first played at the 21st edition in Kuala Lumpur in 2001.

Singapore tops the medal table with two golds, a silver and a bronze, all coming from the table tennis arena. Thailand is in second place with a silver and bronze, followed by Malaysia and Vietnam, each with a bronze.

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