South Korean media compares Shin Tae-yong to Park Hang-seo at U23 Asian Cup

A 4-1 victory over Jordan in the final game of the group stage on Sunday helped Indonesia finish second in group A with six points, above Australia and only one point behind host Qatar.

As this is Indonesia’s first appearance at the U23 Asian Cup, newspaper Hankook called the upset “an event that shocked Asian football.”

Sports website MK Sports noted that “Indonesia are the lowest-rated team in group A but they overcame all predictions.”

Xports News said coach Shin had become a national hero, with Indonesia fans chanting his name at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium and also on social media.

“Indonesia cannot stop being delighted with Shin’s magic,” sports channel SpoTV reported.

Coach Shin Tae-yong celebrates after taking Indonesia into the quarterfinals of U23 Asian Cup on April 21, 2024. Photo by AFC

Newspaper Cheonji opined that coach Shin has emerged as an Indonesian football idol, not only on the pitch but also in many advertisements.

“Coach Shin created a fever in Indonesia like Park Hang-seo did in Vietnam,” a Cheonji article asserted.

Under the leadership of Shin, Indonesia passed the U23 Asian Cup group stage for the first time.

Before that, he led the national team to the 2023 Asian Cup after a 17-year absence, also advancing past the group stage for the first time. The team also now have a great chance to pass the second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Vietnamese football in the 2018–2022 period under Park Hang-seo also stunned international media with an impressive run, finishing as runner-up at the 2018 U23 Asian Cup, landing in fourth place in the Asian Games, winning the 2018 AFF Cup, and reaching the quarterfinals of the 2019 Asian Cup before qualifying for the third round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers for the first time.

Shin has proven his ability in South Korea and is one of his nation’s most famous coaches.

He led Seongnam FC to the 2010 AFC Champions League title and the 2011 South Korean FA Cup. He took South Korea to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Rio Olympics and the U20 team past the group stage of the 2017 World Cup, and even brought the national team at the 2018 World Cup an impressive 2-0 win over Germany, defending champions at that time.

Shin became Indonesia head coach in 2019. According to newspaper Isplus, he transformed the country’s entire football culture by coaching the youth and national teams for five years, producing a quality generation of players who met success at several tournaments.

“Shin adapted a fast-paced and high-pressed style of play,” Isplus wrote. “Indonesia received positive reviews because their gameplay is organized better than before.”

The contract between Shin and the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) will expire in June 2024. Indonesian newspaper Bola said fans are calling for an immediate contract extension with the South Korean coach.

PSSI president Erick Thohir has asked fans to stay calm because he claimed to have already made initial agreements with Shin.

Indonesia will meet South Korea in the quarterfinals. Isplus stated that it would be a big match as the two native South Korean coaches – Shin and Hwang Sun-hong – are close friends. The match is a reminder, according to the newspaper, of the time coach Park Hang-seo faced Kim Hak-bum, when Vietnam lost 1-3 to South Korea in the semifinals of the 2018 Asian Games.

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