Indonesian president Joko Widodo (Jokowi) personally greeted his country’s national team on Saturday night after they opened the AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 semifinals with a 2-1 win over Vietnam.
The 55-year-old head of state was one of a number of political dignitaries in attendance at Pakansari Stadium, where Garuda participated in their first knockout stage since 2010.
Following the final whistle, Jokowi appeared on the pitch to congratulate Alfred Riedl’s side on a hard-fought result.
“The team worked really well on the pitch. This is a very good start,” he later tweeted.
Indonesia striker Boaz Solossa, who scored the game-winning penalty kick in the 50th minute, declared the presidential visit an inspiration to the side.
“I want to thank President Jokowi, because his presence is a massive boost for our team,” the captain said after the match. “I also want to thank the Indonesian people.
“[But] this series isn’t over, because we still have to play the second leg in Vietnam.”