Stefano Lilipaly tips two-goal Indonesia to bring home first-ever title
Indonesia’s Dutch-based midfielder Stefano Lilipaly is banking on his team’s remarkable run of scoring two goals in every game as they prepare for the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup final second leg in Bangkok.
In frony what will be a partisan full-house crowd at the majestic Rajamangala Stadium on Saturday, the Garudas hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg and will force Kiatisuk Senamuang’s team to come out and chase the game.
A first-half goal from Teerasil Dangda in the first leg on Wednesday night at Stadion Pakansari in Bogor was overturned by a second-half blitz from Rizki Pora and Hansamu Yama Pranata to leave the tie finely balanced.
Alfred Riedl’s side are the only team in the competition to have scored two goals in each game with six strikes in the group stages before putting Vietnam to the sword with a 4-3 aggregate win in the semi finals.
Despite the Thais going into the second leg quietly confident of victory to seal a record-breaking fifth AFF Suzuki Cup title, the Garudas are the form-team of the tournament having played the role of dark horses to perfection.
Lilipaly, who has been one of Indonesia’s top performers throughout the tournament is hoping they can continue their goalscoring antics in the red hot cauldron of Rajamangala.
"We have scored two goals in every game. Hopefully we can repeat that performance, score another two goals to bring home the title," Lilipaly told detikSport.
While the midfielder is confident of landing a first-ever ASEAN title for Indonesia, his coach Alfred Riedl warned of complacency ahead of the country’s biggest football game this year.
“We go to Bangkok with the lead, so, of course, we have the chance to become champions,” the Austrian said.
“But we cannot underestimate Thailand. They are after all the best team in Southeast Asia.”
If Indonesia are to upset the odds and claim their first Suzuki Cup on Saturday, they will probably have to do it without star man Andik Vermansyah who was substituted in the first leg with a suspected thigh injury.
One thing that does stand in Indonesia’s favour is that the winners of the first leg have gone on to claim the coveted silverware in the last six editions.
This will be the sixth time Indonesia have made the Suzuki Cup final and the Merah Putih supporters are keen to see their team close out what has been an incredible tournament where they have put themselves on an equal footing with the likes of Singapore and Vietnam.