From Basra, Iraq to Manila, Philippines. In November, Shin Tae-yong will travel east to west across the Asian continent with the Indonesian national soccer team. The reason for the grueling two-game road trip is the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Indonesia.

On Nov. 16, Shin’s side will face Iraq in Group F of the 2026 FIFA North and Central American World Cup Asia Second Qualifying Round at the Basra National Stadium in Iraq, followed by a second leg against the Philippines at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila on Nov. 21.

Most of the teams in the second round of Asian qualifying will play one home and one away match in November’s A-match. The South Korean national team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann, will play its first home game against Singapore at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Nov. 16, followed by a second match against the Chinese national team in Shenzhen, China, on Nov. 21.

The reason for the grueling road trip for Indonesia, ranked 145th in the FIFA rankings, is the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which will be held in Indonesia from Nov. 10 to Dec. 2. Indonesia was originally scheduled to host the U-20 World Cup in May, but withdrew from the tournament due to backlash and protests from local soccer fans after Israel qualified. FIFA awarded the U-20 World Cup to Argentina and the U-17 World Cup to Indonesia in November.

Indonesia is determined to make the U-17 World Cup, a long-awaited and hard-fought FIFA event, a success. Facilities are also being thoroughly overhauled. The Indonesian A team, led by Shin, is also on board. The fact that they won’t have home field advantage for the two November A matches, and will have to travel a long way from Basra to Manila – about 7,600 kilometers (straight line distance) one way – is a bit of a burden for Shin and his players. However, they are fully committed to the success of Indonesia’s first FIFA tournament.

For Shin, however, the pressure is on to play in the middle of enemy territory against Iraq, a country that hasn’t played an A-Level match at home in over a decade due to insecurity. 먹튀검증

Iraq has built a modern stadium in the southern city of Basra, where security has improved, and is hoping to show that it is a safe country by hosting the A-Match. That’s why it’s organizing a home match against Indonesia. However, Indonesia’s lack of experience away from home could be a disadvantage. A trip to Iraq is something that Shin, who has traveled extensively in Asian soccer, leading national teams and clubs at all levels, has never experienced.

On the other hand, Manila in the Philippines is in a better situation in that it has a similar climate and environment to Indonesia, but it is a grueling 7,600-kilometer flight right after Basra in Iraq.