Bambang issues rallying cry

Bambang Pamungkas believes Indonesia will bounce back following Sunday's shock 2-2 draw with Laos in the opening match of their AFF Suzuki Cup Group B campaign.

Bambang Pamungkas

By staff

Indonesia needed an 89th minute equaliser to avoid an embarrassing defeat to Laos, Vendry Mofu netting late on for the Merah Putih who had trailed twice in the game at Kuala Lumpur's Bukit Jalil National Stadium.

With a game against Singapore - who defeated host nation Malaysia 3-0 in their opener - to come on Wednesday, a relatively inexperienced Indonesia know they must improve, and quickly, if they are to stand any chance of reaching the competition's semi-final stages. Something Bambang believes is entirely possible.

"The first game in any tournament is very difficult and you could see that in the game against Laos," the 32-year-old declared.

"The result (against Laos) of course was not good for us, but the draw means that it is still game on and we still have another two games left. We can now try to forget about the result and focus on our next game.

"We had a lot of new players in our squad and they were a little bit shaky because it is their first tournament. But we tried to work very hard in the game and the result is not too bad.

"In our next match we will try to do our best and win the game," the Indonesia captain added.

A veteran of the Southeast Asian football scene, Bambang also feels that Indonesia will have learned some valuable lessons following their clash with Laos - pointers which should see a revitalised and far savvier Indonesia in their remaining two Group B matches.

"This is my fifth AFF Suzuki Cup -maybe my last one - but I will try my best to encourage the team whether I am playing or not playing," Bambang said.

"This first game gave a lot of experience to the players and it gave them a lesson that to play at international level is a little bit difficult. It's a different atmosphere and a different pressure and I hope that through this game, we get a little better for the next game.

"Our challenge against Singapore and Malaysia will be different but whatever it takes we will try our best."

ESPN STAR Sports will broadcast all 18 matches with the most extensive online coverage on the AFF Suzuki Cup. Check ( or for local TV listing & breaking news. Follow us on Twitter @espn_star (or @espnstarmy, @espnstarid) for the latest updates from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.

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