NAYPYITAW- Indonesia will resume its bid for the elusive SEA Games football gold when the under-23 team takes on rival Malaysia in a semifinal match at Zeyar Thiri Stadium in Naypyitaw on Thursday.
Indonesia last won football gold in 1991. It came close to ending the drought in 2011 at home, but Malaysia spoiled the party and ruined what would have been the icing on the cake for the eventual overall 2011 champion.
Coach Rahmad Darmawan refused to be overawed and said his side was ready to avenge the loss while admitting he was already familiar with the Malaysian game.
"We're now focusing on Malaysia, which has good teamwork and aerial play. We know how to deal with them," he said as quoted in tribunenews.com.
Indonesia scraped through to the semifinals after eking out a 1-0 win over Myanmar. The other semifinal will pit Singapore against Thailand.
A win by the Garuda team will provide solace to Indonesia, which is currently struggling in the medal hunt.
As the end of the 27th SEA Games approaches, Thailand is far ahead in the medal standings, leaving Indonesia in a close race with Vietnam and Myanmar for second place.
Up until Wednesday night, Indonesia was able to add five more golds to its tally with victories coming from athletics (2), chess (1), kempo (1), and cycling (1). Indonesia sat in fourth position with 50 golds, 60 silvers and 71 bronzes.