Bima calls for calm in the stands ahead of potentially fiery match against Malaysia

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Bima Sakti wants fans to steer clear of trouble in what is expected to be a highly charged affair in the semi-final between Malaysia and Indonesia

Indonesia's assistant coach, Bima Sakti has called upon the fans of both sides to stay away from trouble ahead of a mouth-watering semi-final clash in the 2017 KL SEA Games between Malaysia and Indonesia.

The uproar that started almost a week ago because of a wrongly-printed Indonesia flag in the handbook given during the opening ceremony last Saturday, has led to much criticism from the Indonesians and obviously the wounds caused by that are still very raw.

"We have fought hard to come here to the semi-final stage. I just want to tell the fans of Indonesia and Malaysia that tomorrow is a football match and let it just be a match and nothing else. The Malaysian team is a good team in this SEA Games and they are one of the teams who are capable of being champions," said Bima in the pre-match press conference.

Indonesia qualified for the knockout stage after defeating Cambodia 2-0 in their final Group B fixture on Thursday, which helped them to second spot in the group behind Thailand. They are still unbeaten in the tournament, having won three matches and drawing two.

Despite only having a short turnaround time from the last match to the semi-final on Saturday, Bima stressed that it will not be big factor in the match as his team has been carefully plotting their journey since the start of the competition. 

"From the start, we have being doing rotation to the squad so that the players will always be fresh. Of course we will be missing some players tomorrow but we always tell the players that there are no stars in the team and that we all work together towards the same goal," added Bima.

The captain Hansamu Yama, Muhammad Hargianto and Marinus Mariyanto will not be available for selection as they are suspended having picked up two yellow cards in the group stage. It is a big blow to Indonesia as these players form the spine of the team.

However, Bima is adamant that the replacements will be able to cover sufficiently and is counting on the experienced of Evan Dimas in midfield to be the leader on the pitch in the absence of Yama.

"For Yama as captain, the possibility is that Dimas will take over," explained Bima.

The semi-final match between Malaysia and Indonesia will take place on Saturday at Shah Alam Stadium with the match expected to kick-off at 8:45pm.

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