Jakarta: Indonesia skipper Firman Utina has expressed his gratitude to the Indonesian public for helping to inspire the Merah Putih to reach this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup final.
Speaking after his side downed Philippines 2-0 on aggregate to set up a final showdown against Malaysia, the Indonesia midfield general made it a special point to thank the fans, who have displayed their usual passionate support for their side at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium throughout the current campaign.
“First of all, I want to thank the people of Indonesia for their tremendous support in this tournament. It has provided us with the inspiration that has helped us to reach the final,” said Firman, who turned 29 last Wednesday.
“Our aim is always to play our best for our team and for our nation. We are all in good physical shape and we are well prepared for the tournament although– there are some weaknesses that we must overcome before the next game.”
But while the loud and passionate support has helped to inspire the Indonesian side, Firman admitted that the constant din at the stadium has, at times, had an adverse effect on the team with the players committing errors after being unable to communicate effectively on the pitch.
“Some of our mistakes came out as a result of a lack of concentration that was caused by the overwhelming noise in the stadium,” he said.
“Because the crowd was so loud, there were times in the match when we couldn’t communicate properly.”