Shin Tae-yong hopes for round of 16 to be left to the heavens

“Congratulations to Japan on their victory. Japan was a good team after all. I have to admit it. I accept the result, but I’m not happy with the referee. I applaud the players because they did their best. It was a good experience for us.”

Shin Tae-yong lost the final match to Japan. He acknowledged the defeat but shook his head at the referee’s call.

Indonesia fell 1-3 to Japan in their final Group D match at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup 2023 at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. (KST). They had hoped to secure a spot in the round of 16 with a stunning upset of Japan, but will have to wait to see how the other three teams finish.

In his post-match press conference, Shin Tae-yong said, “Congratulations on the victory over Japan. Japan was a good team after all. I have to admit it. I accept the result, but I have many complaints about the referee. I want to applaud the players because they did their best.”

Indonesia was objectively below Japan in terms of strength, so they played five at the back to prevent attacks. Even when Japan gained possession and attacked the flanks and half-space, they defended as much as possible and tried to counter-attack. They pushed hard in the second half, but no penalties were called.

They dropped to third place in Group D but still have a chance to advance to the round of 16. Coach Shin Tae-yong said, “It’s not something I can talk about. It’s the will of the heavens,” he said.

Indonesia’s group stage schedule is over, but they still have to wait for the results of the other groups. When asked about his upcoming schedule, Shin said, “After the game, we will rest and recover. We will take a day off tomorrow and watch the game.”

Indonesia won one and lost two. When we asked Coach Shin Tae-yong, he didn’t hesitate to say, “I like the match we won the most. I think it was good because we beat Vietnam,” he said.

Indonesia played a pretty good defense against Japan. They even scored a late goal in extra time. The Japanese media asked Shin the same question, and he replied, “Japan has so many good players up front. They have a good balance between offense and defense. They press well when they lose the ball. It wasn’t easy for us to get out, so our offensive line didn’t stand out. With the inexperience of the young players, it takes time for them to create when they get the ball. We struggled with Japan’s forward pressure, which is something we need to work on.”

When asked how the Asian Cup group stage journey has been for Shin, he said, “It’s been a good experience for our players to try and show what we want to do. Even though Indonesia is at the bottom of the FIFA rankings, I think they have improved. I can see hope for Indonesian football. I think it helped the players a lot,” he smiled wryly.

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