We are back at it again with another remarkable top 10! Unfortunately, as we all heard the opening of the Liga 1 is postponed. We thought right now would be a good moment to take a minute and look back at some of the most interesting matches from the past. We compiled a list of the top 10 most remarkable international matches in Indonesian football history.
1. Indonesia – Borussia Dortmund (0-1)
Starting off with the first-ever German team to play in Indonesia, back in 2007, Borussia Dortmund played a friendly match against the international team of Indonesia. The field was soaking wet that night in the Gelora Bunga Karno Stadium in Jakarta. In the pouring rain, the Germans pulled off a 0-1 victory with a penalty scored by Mladen Petrić.
Who would have known the Yellow-Blacks from Dortmund are this popular in Indonesia? Take a look at this reportage made by DW Kick-Off: about the ‘echte liebe’ for Borussia Dortmund in Jakarta! Amazing!
2. Persija – Johor Darul Ta’zim (4-0)
Number 2 on our list is a match in the AFC Cup. In 2018 Persija Jakarta played against the Malaysian Johor Darul Ta’zim. You might recognize this match from our top 10 tifo list. Not only the Jakmania had a great performance that night, but the players on the field also dominated the match, with topscorer Marko Šimić scoring 4 times! The Jakartans came back from a 3-0 loss in their away game, and thus continued to the next round of the AFC cup. A brilliant performance from the supporters and the players that night in the Gelora Bung Karno.
3. Arema – Australian Central Coast Mariners (2-1)
Next, up on our list is a match played between Arema and the Australian Central Coast Mariners. This game took place on the 29th of September in 2013. The title of the Mencora Cup was on the line and it was a close match. In the end, Arema won the cup, beating the Australians by 2-1. Both Arema’s goals were penalties scored by Saint Kitts and Nevis’ Keith Gumbs. The result is a bit flattered because it is debatable how serious the Australians took this cup. Central Coast Mariners had another game the same day and took only 13 players to the Kanjuruhan Stadium. Nevertheless, Arema won the match, ending a dry-spell for their trophy cabinet since 2010, also taking home the prize money worth RP. 750.000.000.
4. Indonesia – The Netherlands (0-3)
The next one is a special one for us. It was the first match we visited in Indonesia and it immediately gave us the opportunity to see the immense support of Garuda Indonesia. We immediately got hooked to the Indonesian style of support. We are talking about the friendly match between Indonesia and the Netherlands in 2013. The match ended in a 0-3 victory for the Netherlands, with 2 goals from Siem de Jong, and 1 From Arjen Robben. Check out the footage we shot that day!
Next to that, we could imagine that it would be an extra special day for Raphael Maitimo and Sergio van Dijk, the Dutch-Indonesian players, playing under the Indonesian flag against former team-mates.
5. Persija – Ajax (0 -3)
Number 5 on our list is a double! Back in 2014, Ajax Amsterdam came to Indonesia for its “Ajax Indonesia Tour”.
Their first stop on the tour was in Jakarta. Upon arrival at the airport, the Indonesian Ajax fans gave a warm welcome to the players. On the 11th of May, it was time for the friendly game against Persija. The match ended in a 3-0 win for Ajax, but more importantly, the Ajax Indonesia Group got to see their heroes play in the GBK stadium. You can see they practiced their Dutch chants really well in this Youtube Clip. After the match, the Ajax players enjoyed the beautiful skyline of Jakarta with a small rooftop party.
Later that tour, Ajax Amsterdam traveled to the flower city of Bandung. This match against Persib Bandung was played on the 14th of May and resulted in a remarkable 1-1 final score with goals from Denswil and Konaté. Of course, this was a class result from Persib against the champions-team Ajax coached by Frank de Boer at that time. Next to that, it was Christian Poulsen’s final match for Ajax and the Indonesian Ajax fans had a banner saying “Terima Kasih Poulsen”.
Not only these 2 matches were part of the tour. Ajax also gave a few clinics in Indonesia and took on a few social- and marketing deals.
6. Feyenoord Rotterdam – Indonesia (6-1)
The oldest one on our list goes way back to 1965. This is a match between Feyenoord Rotterdam and the national team (Timnas) of Indonesia. As we all know, the history between Indonesia and the Netherlands has its dark side. That is what makes this match so remarkable: that Indonesia came to Rotterdam on the 9th of June that year. There is not a lot to be found about this match, other than that Feyenoord won 6-1 that day.
7. Indonesia Red – Manchester United Legends (7-6)
On the 23rd of October in 2013, Indonesia Red played in the enormous GBK against the Manchester United Legends for the ‘Battle Of RED (Retired Extremely Dangerous)’. This battle was long overdue because Manchester United had plans coming to Indonesia in 2009, even making this funny commercial beforehand. Unfortunately due to the tragic bombings right before United would have come, they cancelled the match. Luckily for the Indonesian Manchester United fans, the legends came in 2013. The fans were in for a treat because they got to see 13 (!) goals. After the final whistle, the score was 7-6, secluding a win for Indonesia in this friendly match.
We could have guessed the reds were popular in Indonesia but take a look at the number of followers on their enormous Twitter account. The official Manchester United Indonesia Supporters Club has an even bigger following which shows the unparalleled love for Manchester United in Indonesia!
8. Indonesia All-Stars – Chelsea FC (1-8)
Earlier that year, United’s rivals Chelsea came to Jakarta, Indonesia. Normally in these friendly matches, both teams take it a little easy, but Chelsea obviously didn’t. The blues started with almost all their star players and dominated the match, winning 1-8. Goals from Hazard, Ramires, Ba, Terry, Traoré, Lukaku, and an own goal from Kalas. With the win, they secured the BNI cup of their Asia Tour. If you are ever in Jakarta and fancy seeing the blues playing with like-minded souls you can come to the official Chelsea FC Indonesian Supporters Club. They even have their own page on the official Chelsea website.
9. AS Roma Red – AS Roma White (2-1)
Okay granted, this is not a match from an Indonesian club or the Timnas. We still included this one on our list because AS Roma is HUGE in Indonesia. On the 25th of July in 2015, the Lupa from Rome held an exhibition match in Jakarta. The reception of the Indonesian fans was incredible with a choreo and lots of flares. Beforehand it was unsure if AS Roma would come to Indonesia. The day before they had a friendly match in Australia, and traveling to Indonesia, 5 of their players were denied access by custom officials to Indonesia at the airport. Luckily for the Indonesian AS Roma fans, the rest of the players decided to continue with AS Roma Day. The match ended in 2-1 in favor of AS Roma Red, but most importantly the Indonesian Roma fans got to see their heroes play. Take a look at this reportage from in and around the GBK stadium made by Soleil from AS Roma. Also if you want to get a look at the love the Indonesians have for AS Roma, take a look at the Forza Roma Indonesia Instagram.
10. Indonesian Super League All-Stars – Juventus (1-8)
Again an Italian club for the last match on our list! On the 7th of August 2014, The Indonesian Super League All-Stars played a friendly match against Juventus. Juventus wanted to showcase to Indonesia what it’s capable of, starting with almost all their star players. This resulted in a major 1-8 win for the Bianconeri from Turin. Attendees saying it looked as if it was a home match for Juventus, with black-white dressed people filling up the whole GBK and chanting their songs. This was a great opportunity for Indonesian Juventus fans from all over the country to see the star players. You could’ve guessed it: Juventus has a really big following in Indonesia. It does make a lot of sense they are so big because of their rich history. They have almost 200k followers on Facebook and there are also numerous accounts on Instagram with Juventus Fan Club Indonesia being one of the biggest.