Created on 20-05-2008 at 00:00 AM
Indonesia lie a lowly 131st in the FIFA World Ranking and have already been eliminated from Asian World Cup qualifying, but when the national team takes on Bayern to contest the Allianz Cup at 1 pm CET on Wednesday, some 100,000 will flock to watch the action. The Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta will be packed to the seams, providing an extraordinary backdrop to an unusual match.
Officials at Germany's leading club freely admit to knowing almost nothing about opponents who lost 1-0 to Borussia Dortmund on the same ground last December. "We're all intrigued about what lies in wait for us tomorrow evening," commented Oliver Kahn ahead of his last but one match as a professional. "We're a little tired, but I hope we can put on a good show for the crowd.“
A day after arriving in the Indonesian capital, Bayern will still be shaking the effects of a fifteen hour flight and five hour time difference from their systems, but must also cope as well they can with the climate of the tropics. With temperatures at around 30 degrees and humidity approaching 90 percent, power football is unlikely to be on the agenda.
"The young players will have to do more of the running," commented Ottmar Hitzfeld ahead of the Munich club's first-ever match in Indonesia. A host of international call-ups has left the Bayern coach with a squad including seven U-19 players, all of whom will get their chance to impress. "It's a showcase for them," said the General, convinced his side would be more than a match for the home heroes. "We're short of a few internationals, but we'll still put out a good team.“
Indonesians backing Kahn
Indonesia boss Benny Dollo shared that opinion. "We want to learn as much as possible from Bayern Munich tomorrow," he told a pre-match news conference, "we're very proud to be playing one of the world's biggest clubs.“ Local gossip centred on hopes of witnessing a goal by Oliver Kahn. "I didn't manage it in the Bundesliga," the keeper observed, "so I need to take every chance I have, and tomorrow is one of my last.“