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FIFA Qualifiers: Garuda Focuses on Physical Recovery in First Training

Indonesia’s national football team on Sunday held its first training session ahead of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers at a training complex close to Basra International Stadium, Iraq.

The team’s initial training session following their arrival in the country on Sunday (November 12) at 11 a.m. local time focused on physical recovery. The team departed from Jakarta on Saturday (November 11).

“We conducted our first training session in Iraq this afternoon at 4 p.m. (It was) just for physical recovery,” the Indonesian national football team’s coach, Shin Tae-yong, stated.

It was hoped that by immediately conducting physical recovery, the team would quickly adapt to Iraq’s weather conditions, he explained.

He said that the training was carried out ahead of the first match of the second round of the World Cup qualifiers. Indonesia will go up against Iraq at 9:45 p.m. Western Indonesian Time on Thursday (November 16) at Basra International Stadium.

Winning the match would be the first step to getting into the third round of the qualifiers.

“This is the first match in the second round of the World Cup qualifiers. (It is) important to win the match against Iraq. That way, (we) will have a better result going forward,” the coach added.

Tae-yong said he was optimistic ahead of the match and not daunted by the opponent team’s strength, which ranks 68th in the world.

He further said he was sure his players were capable of competing against the Iraqi team and gaining three points from the match.

“There is no problem with playing against Iraq. Their FIFA ranking is better than Indonesia’s, and they are a difficult opponent for us, especially because we come here as guests. However, I will do my best and create a strategy that can keep them at bay,” he added.

Meanwhile, Indonesian footballer Marc Klok said he had prepared himself well before the training session with other players in Iraq.

He added that he had prepared to maintain optimal physical condition for the match against Iraq.

“After arriving, the other players and I rested for a while for the afternoon’s training session. The most important things are enough rest, extra training, and healthy meals. I hope (we) can get the best result and achievement on November 16 and 21,” Klok added.

“Our target is winning. We will do our best as Iraq is not an easy opponent. We will see,” he remarked.

Source: Antara News