Head coach Shin Tae-yong hugged his players for fighting well.
Tae Yong Shin’s Indonesia lost 0-4 to Australia in the round of 16 of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar Asian Cup 2023 at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar, at 8:30 p.m. on Monday (June 28). The result sees Indonesia exit the tournament after advancing to the Round of 16. Australia advances to the quarterfinals.
A crushing defeat. And out of the tournament. It was a disappointing situation, but after the game, instead of criticizing, Shin Tae-yong waited for each Indonesian player, hugged them, and shook their hands. It was a message of encouragement and support for the players who did their best despite being underpowered.
It was a miracle throughout the tournament. The Indonesians finished third in Group D with a 1-2 record and advanced to the round of 16. In this tournament, not only the first and second place finishers, but also the four best performing teams out of the six third place teams in the group also qualify for the round of 16. We didn’t know if Indonesia would make the round of 16 until after they finished their group stage. Group A third-place China (2-1) had already been eliminated, but the situation in Group F remained to be seen.
If Oman, who were also in Group F, had beaten Kyrgyzstan in their third game, Indonesia would not have qualified for the round of 16. Oman took the lead in the eighth minute of the first half. Indonesia was in danger of being eliminated. But Kyrgyzstan scored a dramatic equalizer in the 35th minute. The match ended 1-1, punching Indonesia’s ticket to the Round of 16. Oman finished the tournament with a 2-1 loss.
Afterward, Shin and the Indonesian players watched the Oman-Kyrgyzstan match from their hostel. When the team qualified for the round of 16, Shin hugged the players and shared his joy. The video went viral and touched the hearts of soccer fans.
Shin dreamed of another miracle. Indonesia is ranked 146th in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and Australia is ranked 25th. However, in a press conference the day before, Shin said, “(The quarterfinal match against Korea) is a great motivation for me. I think Indonesia’s chances of beating Australia are 3-7. I think the chances of Korea beating Saudi Arabia are 6-4. That’s where Korea has the advantage. But I think we can play a great game in the quarterfinals together,” he concluded.
However, the miracle didn’t happen. Indonesia faced Australia and lost 0-4. It was a disappointing loss for the Indonesians, who fought well despite the big scoreline. On the day, Indonesia matched the Aussies in ball possession, 48% to 52%, and overall shots, 5-7. In the first half, they led 5-1 in shots. However, their accuracy was lacking. Australia had four shots on target, compared to just one for Indonesia. Luck wasn’t on their side either. They had an own goal in the 12th minute of the first half and an extra goal in first-half stoppage time. The second half could have gone differently if they hadn’t conceded or if they had held on.
The second goal came in the final minute. Craig Goodwin (Alweda) added a second goal in the 44th minute. In stoppage time, Australian center-back Harry Scooter (Leicester City) scored the winner. In the end, Indonesia lost.
But they didn’t hang their heads. Despite being eliminated from the tournament, Shin praised his players with heartfelt hugs and handshakes. He greeted not only the players but also the team staff one by one and thanked them for their hard work.