Indonesians may have won many medals at the 26th SEA Games held in their home turf but they lost to Malaysia “the mother of all medals”, the football match. Our last gold medal for the match is in 2009.
Both teams fought hard and went on to score 1-1 despite an extra time.The game was decided through penalty shoot-out which we won 4 to 3. The deciding goal through the penalty kick taken by the tigers’ captain was impressive.
As we were praying hard after the Indonesians equalized at 3-3, captain Marvel coolly took the penalty and rammed it hard into the hands of the Indonesian goalkeeper who actually caught it but somehow the ball managed to escape his grasp and stubbornly went into the goal mouth. Wow! How is that for God’s answering your prayer! Attribute it to God,luck or “Bomoh” (shaman) if you will but that was how it was. Truly exhilarating!
The Television cameras were trained on shocked Indonesian fans and some of them were seen crying. The Indonesian fans have been quite belligerent towards Malaysians, displaying unsporting behaviour. They even refused to respect our National anthem by not standing and were making rude noises.
They left in droves when their team lost, leaving parts of the stadium almost empty during the medal presentation. Looks like they would only salute their champion but not the champion of the game. Such was the sentiment. They have no respect for guests in their country. Just as well we ferry back our players home immediately after the game.
It would appear that it is all about their pride rather than their love for the game itself. But come to think of it, these people are a select group who are passionate about the game, come in droves to the stadium and chant their hearts out, demonstrating their “nationalism”. Surely all Indonesians are not like their football fans? Thinking this way I could forgive them for their fans’ aggressiveness towards our Malaysian team. After all football competition has become like a new form of “battle” among nations.
Imagine our team has to be transported to the stadium in armoured cars as their safety was unable to be guaranteed by the Indonesian authorities! What kind of country is that? I have to rethink about that Bali holiday….
Anyway congratulation again to our SEA games football team. We are proud of you winning in that hostile stadium! And good luck on your Olympics qualifying games with Syria this Wednesday.