Liverpool beat Indonesia XI in hard-won friendly
Jakarta: Liverpool defeated Indonesia XI in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, with the frustrated Reds finally scoring a second goal after struggling to break through a solid wall of defence.
The Indonesia XI, made up of mostly of national team players, lost in front of a home crowd in the capital Jakarta, but gave a solid performance that ended 2-0.
The stalls in the cavernous Gelora Bung Karno Stadium were a sea of red from both Liverpool and Indonesia jerseys, with Indonesia fans cheering each time striker Titus Bonay touched the ball.
Despite the loss, Indonesian followers seemed pleased at the result -- more dignified than their team`s 7-0 defeat to Arsenal last week.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told reporters after the match that the Indonesians "were technically very good, worked very hard".
"I was really impressed by the attitude, quality and humbleness of the team," he said.
Swift passing saw the Reds` Philippe Coutinho score the first goal in ninth minute, but the team struggled to add another to the scoreboard, only doing so in the final stretch after skirting Indonesia`s strong defence.
Liverpool midfielder Luis Alberto wasted several opportunities to score, hitting the crossbar in the 29th minute with a firm strike from the edge of the penalty box.
Indonesian keeper Kurnia Meiga worked hard to make up for a weak midfield, facing constant attacks on goal in the second half as Liverpool upped their game.
Clearly frustrated, Liverpool finally got their second in the 87th minute with Raheem Sterling tapping one in, with Meiga unable to mark three players who broke through the defence.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard told broadcaster SCTV he was glad to win and was focusing on getting his team back into the Champions League after failing to make the grade last term.
"I want to win football matches, and hopefully with our support all around the world, it`d be nice to get some trophies and try and get back into the Champions League," he said.