Indonesia have 80% chance in World Cup qualifiers: head coach

By Trung Thu   November 6, 2023 | 10:31 pm PT
Indonesia have 80% chance in World Cup qualifiers: head coach
Head coach of Indonesia national football team Shin Tae-yong speaks at a press conference. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
National football team head coach Shin Tae-yong believes his Indonesia squad are strong enough to pass the second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Besides Indonesia and Vietnam, group F includes Iraq and the Philippines. The second round will start next week. The results will send nine first-place teams and nine second-place teams from nine groups to the third qualifying round.

At next year’s 2024 Asian Cup, Indonesia will also be in the same group as Vietnam and Iraq. The other team will be Japan. This tournament will be held in Qatar in January 2024, selecting six first-place teams, six second-place teams and four third-place teams with the best result to enter the round of 16.

In both campaigns, Vietnam are considered an even competitor with Indonesia.

Shin became the head coach of Indonesia in 2021 and since then he has never won against the Vietnamese squad helmed by former gaffer Park Hang-seo, losing three and drawing two. Indonesia expect Shin to change his poor results against Vietnam now that the renowned Park is gone and Philippe Troussier is still adjusting to taking over.

"I believe Indonesia have about 80% of getting past the second round of World Cup qualifiers," Shin told South Korean newspaper Best Eleven. "The chance of making it through the Asian Cup group stage is 50-50."

According to Shin, even though Indonesia hold the lowest FIFA ranking in the group, they are improving and have some "surprises" in store for opponents. Shin said the squad are than in recent years as younger players now have more experience.

"The disadvantage of Indonesia is that the players usually dwell on defeats rather than focusing on improving their skills. This drawback doesn’t exist in some of our naturalized citizen players. I can say that Indonesia have become a more formidable team than before," the 53-year-old coach said.

In the past three years, Indonesia have added naturalized citizens and foreign players of Indonesian descent to enhance the squad’s power.

To prepare for the matches against Iraq on Nov. 16 and the Philippines on Nov. 21, coach Shin summoned naturalized Dutch players such as midfielder Marc Klok and striker Rafael Struick, and Indonesian-born players including four defenders Sady Walsh, Elkan Baggott, Jordi Amat and Shayne Pattynama.

Under coach Shin, Indonesia have not won an international title, but have climbed from 175th to 145th on FIFA ranking.

In the last five matches, Indonesia drew Palestine 0-0, lost 0-2 to Argentina, won 2-0 against Turkmenistan, then beat Brunei 6-0 in the first qualifying round of the 2026 World Cup.

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