Ini Soccer’s ‘Miracle Series’ Shin Tae-yong “Made History…Looking Forward to Playing Korea”

“It was exhilarating to have 80,000 Indonesian fans chanting my name.”

Fans are once again drawn to the “Shin Tae-yong Magic” as the Indonesian national soccer team, ranked 134th in the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), became the only Southeast Asian nation to qualify for the third round of Asian qualifying for the 2026 North and Central American World Cup.

The Indonesian national team, coached by Shin Tae Yong Shin, won the final Group F match of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Asia Pacific Second Qualifying Round 2 against the Philippines 2-0 at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Nov. 11 (KST), securing 10 points to finish second in Group F, 안전카지노사이트 ahead of Vietnam (6 points) and qualify for the third round.

The World Cup Asia qualifying process has been a little different in the past, and this is the first time Indonesia has advanced to the knockout stage.

In particular, Indonesia was the only Southeast Asian country to advance to the third round of qualifying from the second round, which included Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Chinese Taipei, and took the pride of being the “strongest in Southeast Asia,” a title that was previously held by Vietnam.

There is no disputing the fact that Shin Tae-yong (53) is the man behind Indonesia’s soccer miracle.

Since Shin took the helm in December 2019, the national team has been praised for its organization and decisiveness.

Earlier this year, the national team reached the round of 16 at the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Qatar for the first time in its history, followed by its first-ever quarterfinal appearance at the 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup in April.

After repeatedly surprising fans, Shin Tae-yong has finally delivered the goods with Indonesia’s third Asian qualification for the 2026 North and Central American World Cup.

After experiencing a ‘three-in-a-row miracle series’, Indonesia is cautiously nurturing its dreams of qualifying for its first-ever World Cup as it awaits the results of the third round of qualifying group draws on July 27.

However, Indonesia’s lowest FIFA ranking among the 18 nations in the third round of qualifying means they will face some tough opposition in the group stage.

Shin, who has emerged as a “miracle icon” of Indonesian soccer, arrived at Incheon International Airport on Thursday morning and will take a short break in the country before attending the group draw for the third Asian qualifying round for the 2026 North and Central American World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Sunday.

“I was so happy to write a new history for Indonesian soccer through the final match of the second qualifying round,” Shin told Yonhap by phone, adding, “The 80,000 people who came to the stadium loved it, and I was thrilled when they called my name.”

When it comes to what has changed soccer in Indonesia, he cites the bond he has formed with the players he has worked with for four years.

“When I first arrived, I trained with the U-18 and U-19 players. “I’ve been with them for almost four years, so I know their strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else,” he said. “They know my characteristics and I know theirs. I know their strengths and weaknesses, and they know mine, which is the biggest advantage.”

“In fact, Indonesia’s FIFA ranking is the lowest among the 18 nations in the third qualifying round,” he said with a laugh, “so we have to hope for good luck to qualify for the World Cup.”

“I think if we get three good teams in the group draw, we can finish third or fourth,” he said, “and then we can look at the fourth qualifying round. We’re even thinking about the playoffs.”

On the possibility of being in the same group as South Korea, he said, “We will definitely meet one of the three teams (South Korea, Japan, and Iran),” adding, “I think it’s better than the other teams because I have a lot of students in South Korea who know my strengths and weaknesses. Also, if Indonesia and Korea are in the same group, it will attract more attention from fans at the box office.”

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