Reaching U23 Asian Cup quarterfinals only half of Indonesia's target: coach

By Lam Thoa   April 22, 2024 | 01:13 am PT
Reaching U23 Asian Cup quarterfinals only half of Indonesia's target: coach
Coach Shin Tae-yong celebrates after Indonesia defeated Jordan 4-1 and advanced to the U23 Asian Cup quarterfinals on April 21, 2024. Photo by AFC
Coach Shin Tae-yong was satisfied after Indonesia defeated Jordan 4-1 to enter the quarterfinals but affirmed that that was not the team's final goal in the 2024 U23 Asian Cup.

Indonesia did not get off to a smooth start at their first time at the tournament, as they had two players sent off and lost 2-0 to hosts Qatar in a match with many controversial decisions.

However, in the next two games, Indonesia defeated Australia 1-0 and Jordan 4-1 to finish second in group A with six points and advance.

"I'm very happy to be in the quarterfinals. I want to share this victory with Indonesian fans," coach Shin said after the win at Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium Sunday night.

This is the first time Indonesia have participated in the U23 Asian Cup. They will meet the winner of group B, South Korea or Japan in the quarterfinals. Those are among of the strongest teams of the tournament.

Shin affirmed that Indonesia could create a surprise to go further.

"The team have only reached 50% of the goal that I set. We want to be in the semifinals. I don't know whether we will face South Korea or Japan. I will watch the games of these two teams. Personally, I like facing Japan. This is a fast team with many quality players. But we will never give up."

Shin said Indonesian football "started from the bottom" and was showing great progress. By bringing the team to the quarterfinals, Shin completed the target set by the Football Association of Indonesia and will likely have his contract extended until 2027.

The 2024 U23 Asian Cup is taking place in Qatar with 16 teams. It's also a qualifier for the Paris Olympics. The top three teams will go to the Olympics, while the fourth-place team will enter a playoff against an African team.

Vietnam have also advanced to the quarterfinals after beating Kuwait and Malaysia, and will play their last group stage game against Uzbekistan Tuesday.

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