Indonesia bullish they can reach Suzuki Cup semis

Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl believes his team is capable of getting through a tough group at the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup that kicks off in November...

The Merah Putih have yet to win the regional tournament and finishing in the top two of Group A – which contains defending champions Thailand, co-hosts Philippines and four-time winners Singapore – will be far from easy.

We have just started playing again. The win over Malaysia was good, but it has to be just the beginning

Indonesia's 3-0 win over Malaysia last week has, however, put the feel-good factor back into the national team, which was playing a first game since the year-long FIFA ban on Indonesian football was lifted in May.

“We have the more difficult group of the two, I am sure of that,” Riedl, who led Indonesia to the final of the 2010 tournament, told FourFourTwo.

“Thailand are the best team in Southeast Asia at the moment and Singapore have been champions before.”

The Philippines have also yet to lift the trophy, but have made great strides in recent years.

Indonesia beating Malaysia in a friendly

Indonesia were all smiles after the Malaysia friendly

“They have a lot of foreign players that have improved the team,” said the Austrian. “They will be strong and not just because they are at home but because they are a good team.”

“Yet, we will be trying to finish in the top two places. We know there is a lot of work ahead of us, but we have the talent in the team to achieve that goal.

“We have just started playing again and have not spent much time together. “The win over Malaysia was good, but it has to be just the beginning.”

Indonesia will continue preparations with a friendly in Myanmar on September 28.

Myanmar are also Suzuki Cup co-hosts and are in Group B along with Malaysia, Vietnam and the winner of October's qualification tournament featuring Brunei, Laos, Cambodia and Timor Leste.