Indonesia captain at risk of missing Asian Cup

By Vy Anh   January 12, 2024 | 05:46 pm PT
Indonesia captain at risk of missing Asian Cup
Indonesia captain Asnawi Mangkualam. Photo by Instagram/@asnawi_bhr
Indonesia may lose their captain, defender Asnawi Mangkualam, at the 2024 Asian Cup as he has not fully recovered from injury.

Coach Shin Tae-yong expressed his concern because Mangkualam could only play a few minutes in the 5-0 friendly defeat to Iran on Jan. 9. This right-back suffered a muscle injury and has been out for the past few weeks.

"Asnawi is still focusing on recovery and only played a few minutes to test his fitness," Shin said. "Asnawi couldn't play from the start, so I gave the captaincy to Jordi Amat."

Asnawi is primarily a right back, but can play as a defensive midfielder or winger. He played for all Indonesia youth teams, and was called up to the national team in 2017 when he was just 17 years old.

Indonesia are not on a good track for their 2024 Asian Cup preparation. Before getting thrashed by Iran, they lost two matches 4-0 and 2-1 to Libya. According to coach Shin, the team have not shown their full potential after the training trip in Turkey.

"You just need to be patient and Indonesia will surely be successful. Fans should not be hasty about our progress," Shin said after the defeat against Libya on Jan. 7.

Shin was appointed Indonesia head coach in 2020, replacing Simon McMenemy. The 53-year-old coach also took charge of the youth teams from U19 to U23. His contract with the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) is valid until June 2024. The association will take a look at the results of the 2024 Asian Cup and the 2026 World Cup qualifiers to see if they want to extend Shin's contract.

At the Asian Cup this year, Indonesia are in group D with Iraq, Vietnam and Japan. They will play the firstg game against Iraq on Jan. 15.

In 2023, Indonesia lost 2-0 to Vietnam in the AFF Cup semifinal and 5-1 to Iraq in the World Cup qualifiers.

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