Indonesia head coach blames referee for Iraq defeat

By Lam Thoa   January 16, 2024 | 12:23 am PT
Coach Shin Tae-yong said the referee made a mistake in giving Iraq their second goal, which contributed to Indonesia's 1-3 defeat in their first game at this year's Asian Cup.
Coach Shin reacts to the referee in Indonesias 1-3 defeat against Iraq at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar at Asian Cup on Jan. 15, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

Coach Shin reacts to the referee in Indonesia's 1-3 defeat against Iraq at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar at Asian Cup on Jan. 15, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

"I don't know why Iraq's second goal went through because it was offside. This is unacceptable to me. The play was 100% offside. The referee was wrong to recognize this goal, and that changed the outcome of the match," coach Shin said at the press conference on Monday night.

In the seventh minute of injury time in the first half, when the score was 1-1, Ali Jassim took a powerful shot which Indonesia goalkeeper Ernando Ari could not catch cleanly, and Osama Rashid was there for the rebound. Shin reviewed the goal on Indonesia's screen and then quickly asked referee Tantashev Ilgiz to check the play on VAR because he thought Mohanad Ali was offside before Rashid scored. However, the referee still gave the goal to Iraq.

Even with more than 60 minutes remaining, Indonesia could not reverse the situation. They conceded a third goal in injury time of the second half when Aymen Hussein beat Rizky Ridho before volleying the ball into the roof of the net, securing the 3-1 win for Iraq.

The second goal of Iraq against Indonesia in the teams' group stage game at Asian Cup, Jan. 15, 2024. Video by FPT Play

The Asian Cup this year uses semi-automatic offside detection technology. The system uses 12 specialized cameras to accurately track the position of the ball and players on the field. All positions related to offside are determined. However, coach Shin still insisted that referee Ilgiz and his assistants made the wrong call.

"Modern technology is used but the final decision still belongs to the referee," Shin added. "The referee's mistake in this goal reduces the value of the tournament. It was a mistake, and it came at an important time of the match."

After criticizing the referee, Shin praised his players. He said that despite losing the match, Indonesia players showed improvement compared to the 5-1 defeat against Iraq in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers two months ago.

"Before the match, I said we would play better than the match in the World Cup qualifiers, and the players did that. In this match, Iraq were better, but if the referee got it right and Indonesia didn’t concede the second goal, we don't know what would have happened. Iraq were strong, but Indonesia also played well," Shin said.

The defeat left Indonesia at the bottom of group D, with zero points like Vietnam but fewer goals. The two Southeast Asian teams will clash on Jan. 19.

Losing to Iraq is a difficult result that affects Indonesia's hope of advancing, Shin added.

"The next two opponents, Vietnam and Japan, are both strong. But when I was South Korea coach, the team defeated defending champions Germany in the 2018 World Cup, something that no one expected. Therefore, Indonesia will not give up hope, we will accept the challenge and move forward," Shin said.

Asian Cup highlights: Indonesia 1-3 Iraq. Video by FPT Play

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