TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Irfan Bachdim failed to secure a starting spot in Japanese club Consadole Sapporo this season. He rarely been picked to play in the second division side. However, the Dutch-born player has not lost confidence when he was given the chance to play for the national team.
Irfan was selected by coach Alfred Riedl in the starting line-up to face Malaysia in Solo, Tuesday evening, September 6, 2016. He played brilliantly for 71 minutes, scoring a goal and providing an assist. Local football statistics provider Lab Bola had even named the midfielder as the man-of-the-match in the game ended 3-0 to Indonesia.
Irfan made 19 passes, 15 of which were accurate. His passing accuracy was 78 percent. He also attempted two shots on target, one of which resulted in a goal. Moreover, he delivered an assist for Boaz Salossa, who scored a brace that night.
After the match, Irfan said he is proud to wear the national jersey. “I’m very proud of my comeback to the national team,” he wrote on his Instagram account. “But I’m more proud of the whole team, especially the supporters! I know Indonesian supporters are the best in the world, but having seen it once again in Solo, it’s thrilling and was a huge boost and encouragement for the team.”
He also claimed that he played his heart out. “Thank you for all the support. I don’t just play with my feet, but also with heart, and I will always fight for the country I love,” he said.
Irfan, along with Andik Vermansyah, who also plays abroad, is currently being chased by Madura United.