Both Indonesia and Japan were in action for the second time in the qualification, and a significant result from the other match in this group, played the evening before, was Hong Kong 1, North Korea 2. This saw to that a win for either of today’s combatants meant they would be joining the Koreans atop the group with four fixtures left.
Japan had failed to see off Hong Kong earlier in the week, and were surely realizing that they were once again up against home opposition which would receive plenty of vocal support from their fans, meaning that they would need to maximize their effort to return back home with both points. For Indonesia to have drawn against North Korea a week earlier had been a terrific result, and they must have felt optimistic ahead of the visit of the Japanese select. Indonesia were reigning Southeast Asia champions, having defeated Malaysia 1-0 in the final on home soil back in 1987. This was noted as their strong era, and it is worth mentioning that they would reclaim that regional title in 1991, having conceded it later in 1989 to Malaysia.
|1 Eddy Harto||27||KTB Palembang|
|3 Jaya Hartono||25||Petrokimia Putra|
|6 Robby Darwis||24||Kelantan|
|9 Ricky Yacobi||26||Arseto Solo|
|10 Jessie Mustamu||26|
|11 I Made Pasek Wijaya||19||Pelita Jaya|
|12 Maman Suryaman||25|
|13 Mustaqim||sub 61′||24|
|14 Rully Nere||32||Persipura Jayapura|
|15 Herry Kiswanto||34||KTB Palembang|
|18 Lubis Hamdani|
|8 Agusman Riyadi||on 61′|
|1 Shigetatsu Matsunaga (c)||26||Yokohama Marinos|
|2 Katsuyoshi Shinto||28||Mazda|
|5 Tetsuji Hashiratani||24||Nissan Motors|
|6 Takumi Horiike||23||Yomiuri|
|7 Masami Ihara||45+1′||21||Yokohama Marinos|
|9 Masaaki Mori||27||Fujita Industries|
|10 Masanao Sasaki||26||Honda|
|13 Satoru Mochizuki||25||Nippon Kokan|
|16 Mitsunori Yoshida||27||Júbilo Iwata|
|17 Osamu Maeda||sub 82′||23||Yokohama Marinos|
|23 Kenta Hasegawa||sub 86′||23||Nissan Motors|
|8 Takashi Mizunuma||on 81′||29||Yokohama Marinos|
|21 Hiroshi Kurosaki||on 86′||21||Honda|
While we do not have any information on the attendance figure for Indonesia’s opening qualifier the previous weekend, the Jakarta national stadium is pretty well populated for the visit of Japan. The number is given as 80 000, although the arena was said to hold in excess of 100 000 at the time. Since our video from the game has no display of all sections of the stands, we can’t verify the figure. There is no reason not to find it credible, as views of some of the compartments reveal how well populated they are.
Indonesia’s manager Nirwan Bakrie had decided to go with precisely the same eleven starters as last time around. Unfortunately, we do not possess any video material from the 0-0 draw against North Korea. Bakrie was said to run a pretty organized and strict regime for the national team players, and later in the year, they would go on and win the football tournament of the South East Asian Games, on that occasion held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for the sixth time in seven attempts since 1977. However, to have to make do without ‘the Indonesian Maradona’, Zulkarnain Lubis, must have been a set-back to the management team. Still, the select contained players who appear to have been held in very high regard at the time.
Japan had hardly impressed in their qualification opener in Hong Kong, and a draw had been just about the fitting result six days earlier. Their manager, Kenzo Yokoyama, had made two changes to his starting eleven, with defender Tomoyuki Kajino and midfielder Kasumi Oenoki giving way to Katsuyoshi Shinto and Satoru Mochizuki respectively. They kept with their 3-5-2 formation. Were they to retain a serious hope of making it through to the final qualification round, they could certainly not afford a defeat here.
There is not much to suggest that there is a gap in quality between the sides in the opening quarter of an hour. The hosts are clearly fired up, and they have a huge crowd spurring them on, something which sees them on the front foot almost right from the word ‘go’. They look disciplined in the way they’re set up, not allowing the visitors much space in a compact midfield, where both teams are equipped with three players in the centre. Indonesia had come away with a point against a fancied North Korea, and had probably taken a lot of heart from that result. They were in no mood to play second fiddle.
The first chance falls to the hosts three and a half minutes in, as they almost capitalize from a mistake by Japanese libero Ihara. The tall defender nearly deflects a low free-kick from the Indonesian right hand side into his own net, with goalkeeper Matsunaga committed. The ball is diverted half a yard to the right of the goalpost, and ends in a right wing corner, which ultimately is fruitless. Down the other end, with just over six minutes on the clock, it is Japan midfield man Hasegawa who is allowed to step inside from the right hand channel and fire a shot on target with his left foot. The drive is beat away by goalkeeper Harto at just the right height for him, though the Indonesians would’ve been disappointed to have let Japan in with a shooting opportunity from 22 yards out.
The start to the game sees the home side looking the most committed, while Japan appear somewhat wary, not wishing to be exposed inside their own half. Having obtained a solitary point the previous week, they could do well with securing a win on this occasion, though they would far from come out all guns blazing. A modest approach seemed to be Yokoyama’s recipe for success.
The home side were in a 4-5-1 outlook in which they fielded a libero in the shape of their number 15 Herry Kiswanto, age wise their most experienced team member at 34. He looked to have a decent understanding of when to remain at the back and when to advance ball at feet, although once inside the opposition’s half, he didn’t always appear too confident, losing possession through some sloppy passing. Alongside him at the heart of the Indonesian defence was Robby Darwis, while left-back Jaya Hartono would also tuck inside when needed. Along the right was Lubis Hamdani, who would appear to be willing to make forays into the opposition’s half, although this did not seem to be a particular trait in their tactics.
While their midfield composition could be said to include five members, it was the three most central performers who made them tick. At the base sat 26 year old Jessie Mustamu, while Rully Nere was to his advanced right, and Maman Suryaman across in a central left role. In particular Nere was someone with sound legs, despite his 32 years of age. Mustamu was seeing a lot of the ball, as they would seek to build through him. They were also frequently engaging their two wide players, where the team’s youngest member, 19 year old I Made Pasek Wiyaja, who started out on the right, but who would made a permanent switch across to the left some 11-12 minutes in, lent a lively impression. He was of slender build, but was certainly not afraid to make use of his pace or to take a man on. The other wide man, Mustaqim, was, at least in the early stages, far more anonymous. Perhaps was the switch between the wide men made in order to try and ignite the latter. Up top was the solitary figure of Ricky Yacobi, who was constantly giving chase to the Japanese defenders as the visitors were trying to mount from the back.
In the away camp, it was evident that the 3-5-2 formation which they had come out in for their most recent match was once again in use. While they were still captained by goalkeeper Matsunaga, it was young libero Masami Ihara who remained their key defensive figure, with his relative height a prominent feature. He seemed confident in possession, and positioned himself well, although that early intervention had almost seen him divert the ball into the back of his own net. Around him as centre-backs were Horiike and the newly arrived Shinto, with the latter being somewhat orientated towards Yacobi. Wide defenders were once again Mori along the right and Sasaki across from him. The former seemed the more competent in going forward.
At the deep end of their midfield sat once again Hashiratani, working as a shield in front of his centre-backs. He would allow the other two midfield men, Hasegawa and newcomer Mochizuki, to join in operations inside the opposition’s territory, although the latter failed to let his presence be felt in the early stages. Hasegawa seemed quite busy, and he would thrive when he was coming forward in that right hand channel. His final ball didn’t have sufficient quality, though, and his goalbound shot apart, Japan had failed to threaten the home side’s goal. Up top were once again the Maeda/Yoshida combination.
The pace of the game was not great. Both sets of defenders would casually stroll with the ball at their feet before mounting anything from the back, something which always enabled opposing players to get close and put a tackle in. The sturdy Hashiratani liked to administer a bit of pain on the Indonesian midfielders, of whom Nere seemed to take the brunt of the hits. He was quite an active, industrial little schemer, the Indonesian inside right midfielder, and luckily he was back up again shortly. He would get his own back on the holding Japan midfield man, who also stayed down for a little while although the tackle had hardly looked severe.
Opportunities had hardly come by with great frequency, although 25-26 minutes into the first half, there would be a chance at either end. Japan hit an outswung left wing corner by wide defender Sasaki, which centre-back Shinto got on to 14 yards out. His header went into the ground, where Maeda attempted to prolongue the ball’s trajectory and poke it past the ‘keeper. Still, there was little pace to the attempt, which was comfortably cleared close to the goalline by left-back Hartono. Indonesia’s chance was easily the best of the game so far, as Yacobi flicked a header into the path of Nere, who had made a fine run into the heart of the Japanese penalty area. He poked a low shot with his right boot which was parried by Matsunaga’s left foot; it could so easily have gone in. Ihara cleared the rebound away for a corner. Big, big opportunity for the hosts to move in front.
Through to half-time, little happened both in terms of goalmouth action and in moments of quality. The pace remained low, something which could probably partly be due to the heat (supporters were seen waving their little fans in the stands), and there were few probings from either side; not a whole lot of inventive play. The visitors would either go long towards their front two, or involve the busy Hasegawa when attempting to threaten the home goal. Hasegawa would infrequently have Mori as an option outside of him, and they were clearly more effective when making forays along the right hand channel. Their left hand side was very sparingly in use.
The home side saw an effort on target a couple of minutes before the break, with Mustaqim, who had switched from an original position along the left hand touchline across to the right, as Wijaya had moved the other way early on, the man behind the not too difficult shot from 25 yards out. It was comfortably held by the Japanese goalkeeper. The Indonesians would often look to libero Kiswanto, who remained instrumental in their build-up phase, though it was almost baffling how he continued to give the ball away once inside the opposition’s half through his sloppy passing.
A rare moment of attacking intent on behalf of either side saw Yacobi pull wide to the right and make his way towards the byline, before putting in a cross in the direction of Wijaya, who clearly was not having aerial play as one of his assets. He was small in stature, and having moved inside too soon, he realized the ball would drift over his head and away to safety in what had originally looked a promising move from the hosts.
The first half’s solitary yellow card was produced just after the 45 minute mark, as Ihara, somewhat out of character, mowed down winger Wijaya to the left of Japan’s penalty area. While there was little need to question the referee’s right to make use of the card, the home side failed to take advantage of the free-kick in a promising position, and with a minute of added time having elapsed, the Iraqi official signalled for the half-time break with no score. Hopefully, the second half would bring about an improvement.
As the teams reappeared for the start of the second half, there were no changes among the 22. For those of us fortunate enough to have obtained a copy of the entire game, we had been entertained right through the half-time break by the Japanese TV commentators, who were non-stop talkers. It would’ve been interesting to know their exact verdict, although you’d be pushed to think that they were conveying their views in positive terms following an opening 45 minutes in which the visitors had rarely impressed. Could they up the ante for the final period, or did the tricky Indonesian team have an ace up their sleeve? They were performing the second half kick-off through Nere and Yacobi.