Asian Games elimination was within expectations: Vietnam head coach

By Trung Thu   September 25, 2023 | 02:06 am PT
Asian Games elimination was within expectations: Vietnam head coach
Coach Hoang Anh Tuan speaks after Vietnam lost 1-3 to Saudi Arabia at Asian Games on September 24, 2023. Photo by VnExpress
Coach Hoang Anh Tuan said he was not surprised when Vietnam exited the Asian Games men's football early, learning valuable lessons on the way.

Vietnam lost 1-3 to Saudi Arabia on Sunday night and placed third with three points and a goal difference of -4. When compared to other third-placed teams in other groups, Vietnam could not compete due to a poor goal difference.

"Elimination was within our expectation," coach Tuan said after the game. "We are the youngest team in the tournament and we lost to Iran and Saudi Arabia in every aspect."

Tuan said Vietnam needed to draw valuable lessons, especially as they often conceded at crucial times. Eight out of nine conceded goals of Vietnam were within the first five minutes of the first and second half, which caused them many challenges in the remaining time.

The Vietnam players could not handle the pressure which led to underperforming, Tuan added.

Asian Games men's football allows each U23 team to bring three overaged players. However, Vietnam attended the tournament with mostly U20 players, as the Vietnam Football Federation wants younger players to get more game time.

Among the 22 players that coach Tuan brought to Asian Games, 18 were under 20 years old. Do Sy Huy, 25, was the only overaged player.

In the opening game, Vietnam beat Mongolia 4-2 but then lost 0-4 to Iran and 1-3 to Saudi Arabia.

This is the first time that Vietnam have been eliminated from the group stage of the Asian Games, after advancing to the knockout round in three consecutive editions.

"Tournaments like the Asian Games are a chance for the players to face strong opponents so they can mature," Tuan added.

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