Sunday , February 5 2023

Indonesia coach pays the price for mind games: football pundit


Former Thailand national coach and football pundit Steve Darby said Indonesia coach Shin Tae-yong paid the price for an Instagram post aiming toward defender Doan Van Hau before the AFF Cup semifinals.

Before the game between Vietnam and Indonesia on Monday night, Indonesia head coach Shin Tae-yong posted a video on Instagram highlighting Doan Van Hau’s tackles in the tournament that didn’t get booked by the referee. Do you have a clue why coach Shin did that?

It’s not something I would do. As a coach, I would avoid such provocative social media statements. May be he was trying to play mind games to distract the Vietnamese or influence the referee. But I believe you should concentrate on your own team and avoid criticism of the opposition. What can he possibly gain by doing this? He can only lose, and he did.

Coach Shin Tae-yong reacts on the sideline and claims that defender Que Ngoc Hai elbowed Dendy Sulistyawan in the AFF Cup semifinals second leg on January 9, 2022. Photo by Hieu Luong

Coach Shin Tae-yong reacts on the sideline and claims that defender Que Ngoc Hai elbowed Dendy Sulistyawan in the AFF Cup semifinals second leg between Vietnam and Indonesia in Hanoi on January 9, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

What is your take on the 2-0 win of Vietnam against Indonesia in the second leg of the 2022 AFF Cup semifinals?

All that matters at this point in the tournament is the result. So for the Vietnamese, it was a great game. For the Indonesian, it was a disaster. Probably more so for the Indonesian as they were expecting to reach the final. For the Vietnamese, this tournament should be less important. They should be looking at the Asian Cup and the 2026 World Cup qualification.

Vietnam scored just five minutes into the game. What can you say about the goal? Coach Shin said that the goalkeeper made a mistake in this play.

I thought Nguyen Tien Linh did well, he chased down a long ball and I think there was hesitancy between the two Indonesian defenders and the goalkeeper. It’s hard to put the blame on one player. The ball seemed to drop perfectly and allowed Tien Linh the time to shoot. I would praise both Tien Linh and the long ball passer Do Hung Dung as opposed to blaming the goalkeeper.

AFF Cup semifinals second leg: Vietnam 2-0 Indonesia

What about the second goal?

It was a good set piece by Vietnam, a well-taken corner and an excellent near-post header. The defenders must take the blame for not jumping up to mark Tien Linh or at least putting him off if they could not win the header.

Do you think Tien Linh has improved in the last few years or months? If so, which aspects of the game did he improve?

I have spoken highly for over a year about Tien Linh. I like his work rate, his attitude and his ability to get into goal-scoring positions. He misses chances as all strikers do, but he never hides. He keeps getting into goal-scoring positions. He has to keep getting game time at the club level in the V. League and not have his place taken by an average foreigner.

Nguyen Tien Linh finishes and opens the scoring for Vietnam against Indonesia in the AFF Cup semifinals second leg on January 9, 2022

Nguyen Tien Linh (R) finishes and opens the scoring for Vietnam against Indonesia in the 2022 AFF Cup semifinals second leg on January 9, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

Coach Shin said Indonesia lost partially due to the bad condition of My Dinh Stadium’s pitch. Do you agree with him?

I think the My Dinh pitch is awful and has been like that for a few years now. I coached Thailand and played there in 2009 and it was an excellent pitch then. I don’t think it cost Indonesia the game and that is a poor excuse, the pitch is the same condition for both teams, you have to adapt. Both teams got a training session on that pitch the night before. The ones who were affected the most are the fans as a bad pitch certainly affects the quality of the match.

What’s your opinion on Nguyen Quang Hai’s performance so far in the tournament?

I think the Vietnamese fans and even more so the media have unrealistic expectations of Quang Hai. He is a very good player but he’s still learning. I would have left him in France to continue his professional career development and only bring him back for FIFA tournaments. He doesn’t need to play in this tournament. It’s time for Vietnam to think big and realize ASEAN is just a stepping stone to more important tournaments.

Some people said Vietnam got one hand on the trophy. Do you think they have the best chance to win it now?

Yes, if this 11 can all be fit for the final. That will be a great and well-deserved farewell for coach Park Hang-seo.

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