Philippines' victory puts pressure on Vietnam: head coach

By Hieu Luong   July 26, 2023 | 03:06 pm PT
Vietnam head coach Mai Duc Chung has admitted that Vietnam are under pressure before their next game against Portugal after the Philippines defeated New Zealand at the Women’s World Cup.

Philippines shocked everyone when they took down the host New Zealand on Tuesday.

This is the second time that a Southeast Asian team took a win at a World Cup after Thailand defeated Côte d’Ivoire 3-2 in 2015. This is also the first win for a rookie in the 2023 Women's World Cup.

Coach Chung understands why there are comparisons and questions for Vietnam ahead of their game against Portugal.

"Philippines were really lucky yesterday. New Zealand attacked a lot and even got the ball in but it did not count because they were offside by a shoulder. They also hit the post. In football, such luck still happens sometimes," Chung said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Vietnam head coach Mai Duc Chung during a press conference on July 26, 2023. Photo by Nguyen Ngu

Vietnam head coach Mai Duc Chung during a press conference on July 26, 2023. Photo by Nguyen Ngu

"The victory of the Philippines put pressure on Vietnam, but it’s also a fortunate thing for Southeast Asian football. However, we don’t think that if Philippines win then Vietnam must also win. It’s hard to say it like that. The Philippines have many naturalized players while all Vietnamese players are native. We cannot compare to their physique and power."

Chung affirmed that he wants to win but also doesn’t feel pressured because playing at the World Cup is already a success for Vietnamese football. He said that before the tournament started he encouraged the players and advised them to be comfortable because they came here to learn.

"We have played strong teams like Spain, Germany and the U.S. We learned a lot from them and played better. That’s what I can clearly see," Chung added.

In the first round of group E, Vietnam lost 0-3 to the U.S. while Portugal lost 0-1 to Netherlands. If Portugal want to advance, they will have to win the remaining two matches. According to Chung, the current situation will force Portugal to attack, and that’s when Vietnam could create chances with counter-attacks.

"Both teams want to win," Chung said. "I know that it will be challenging to play Portugal. We have been training on counter-attacks with the aim to create a finishing chance with just two or three passes. If we can win it would be amazing and everybody wants that to happen."

Vietnam will play Portugal at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday (Hanoi time) and the game will be reported live on VnExpress International.

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