Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Football / AFF Suzuki Cup: Angry fans calling for Markus' head


Indonesia goalkeeper Markus Rihihina
Indonesia goalkeeper Markus Rihihina
INDONESIA goalkeeper Markus Rihihina could be made to pay the price for his team's 3-0 defeat to Malaysia as fans clamour for his head after his poor performance in the AFF Suzuki Cup final first leg on Sunday.

Comments left on Indonesian online news portals left no doubt who the fans blamed for their team's first defeat in the tournament after five straight wins, all in Jakarta.

Markus was in the spotlight at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil when he led his teammates off the pitch early in the second half after claiming a laser beam had been directed at him.

Play was held up for five minutes and when it resumed, Indonesia promptly conceded the opening goal with Markus badly off position as Safee Sali thumped the ball past him.

Markus also failed to claim a high ball into the box which allowed an unmarked Safee to easily power a header past the bewildered goalkeeper.

But far from blaming his goalkeeper, Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl instead tore into the unreasonable demands placed on his players ahead of the final.

The Austrian said his players were distracted by activities lined up by the Indonesian FA, the numerous interview requests of the media and the heavy public attention on his team.

"So many things happened before the final, unnecessary things," said Riedl at the post-match press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

"All the time you guys (media) want to interview, take photos. Everytime we go somewhere, we have to close the doors (to the public).

"All the time we got activity from the media, public and the federation. This is not good."


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