The coach of the Indonesian U-23 national team, Shin Tae-yong, said that his squad must win the final two Group A matches of the men’s soccer at the 2021 SEA Games, against the Philippines and Myanmar regardless of the score.
“Players have to think about winning. We don’t really care about goal difference,” Shin said, quoted from PSSI’s statement received in Jakarta, Tuesday.
Indonesia is now in fourth place in Group A after collecting three points from two matches. Victory from the matches against the Philippines, Friday (13/5) and Myanmar, Sunday (15/5), is absolutely necessary in order to maintain the chances of qualifying for the semifinals.
Currently, Myanmar is the leader of Group A with six points from two matches, followed by the Philippines in second place with four points from three matches, then Vietnam in third place which also has four points, from two matches, but lost in goal aggressiveness to the Philippines.
At the 2021 SEA Games, if there are two teams that have similar points, then the position is determined by goal difference. If they are still identical, then aggressiveness or the number of goals scored will be the reference.
According to Shin, the most important thing right now was to grab the three points first. However, he also reminded that positive results can only be achieved if the squad improves performance.
The South Korean national team coach at the 2018 World Cup was still not satisfied with the appearance of his foster children when they lost 0-3 to Vietnam, Friday (6/5) and when they beat Timor Leste 4-1, Tuesday (10/5).
“We have to work hard to improve performance. We will prepare well for the two matches,” said Shin.
However, the U-23 national team seems to be in a crippled condition ahead of the match against the Philippines because, Shin said, winger Saddil Ramdani must return to Malaysia to strengthen his club, Sabah FC.
While the central defender who plays for English club, Ipswich Town, Elkan Baggott is not certain when he will be able to join the 2021 SEA Games squad.
“Saddil will leave for Malaysia and return to the SEA Games after his schedule there is complete. As for Elkan, I can’t confirm when he will arrive in Vietnam,” said Shin.
If Saddil and Elkan are not in the team, then Indonesia will only be strengthened by 18 players against the Philippines.