Indonesia aiming for SEA Games gold before hiatus, says Al Hadad

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Indonesian Olympic team Assistant Coach Muhammad Al Haddad speaks to reporters during a press conference ahead of their semi-final match at the 28th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Singapore on June 12, 2015. Thailand will meet Indonesia on June 13. AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN        (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

assistant coach revealed that his team have a huge ambition to clinch the gold medal, before entering Fifa’s ban period.

The sanction was imposed by Fifa on May 30 due to government interference, which prevents their national and club teams, plus officials, from taking part in all international matches and meetings.

However, Garuda Muda squad were allowed to participate in the SEA Games this year, in what they called as ‘last international campaign’ because the tournament had already started when they faced the ban.

“Against Thailand is a very important for us, because we are currently in the middle of a crisis,” said Al Hadad, who saw his team face the defending champions in semifinals after finishing second at group stage.

“So the people of Indonesia have a lot of expectations on this team, the focus is immense. With the suspension looming upon us, we have been strengthened by the best wishes from the our peoples as a result.

“The morale is high, we are all ready to give our best and pull off a surprise. But for that to happen, it can only come through hard work from the players. And I really believe we can do it.”

Al Hadad stated that he has prepared a strategy around counter-attacking for Indonesia, who last won the gold in the 1991 edition, to handle Thailand’s strategy which he believes have a quality in ball possession.

“Thailand are certainly slightly better than us at the moment and given the formbook as well but they are still a team within the region and they are the same as us.” he added.