Fiji held out Indonesia to a scoreless draw in front of 18,000 spectators in their friendly match at Patriot Chandrabaga Sport Stadium in Bekasi, Jakarta on Saturday.
Ranked 175th in FIFA Coca-Cola World Ranking, Indonesia entered the match as favourites over 181st ranked Fiji but the Melanesians held strong throughout the 90 minutes and created several close opportunities against the hosts.
Captain Roy Krishna, Reueru Tekiate, Epili Saukuru and substitute Setareki Hughes all came close to getting their names on the scoresheet but were denied by Andritany Ardhiyasa’s impressive goalkeeping skills and quick clearances from the Indonesia backline.
Indonesia were just as dominant in attack, sending several opportunities over the crossbar and keeping goalkeeper Simione Tamanisau and the Fiji defence on their toes with strong combinations and build-ups of play throughout the match.
Krishna – who is the only professional player in the team – was impressed with performance of the newer recruits in the squad and is feeling confident about the potential of the team under coach Christophe Gamel’s leadership.
“The overall performance from the boys was pretty good,” he said.
“We executed what the coach told us to do – especially in defence. The game was played until the 97th minute and I think the defence made the overall difference.
“The newcomers who went in as the debutants did well and hopefully they step up even more in the next game. Overall, the team did a great job.”
The draw was a significant achievement for Fiji after finishing bottom of Group A under New Zealand and New Caledonia in the recent 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – OFC Stage 3.
Before making their return home to Fiji, the Bula Boys will wrap up their tour with a friendly match against Indonesia Liga 1 team Persija Jakarta on 4 September.