Playing Vietnam as intense as US: Netherlands coach

By Hieu Luong   July 31, 2023 | 03:15 pm PT
Playing Vietnam as intense as US: Netherlands coach
Netherlands coach Andries Jonker during training on July 23, 2023. Photo by Reuters/Molly Darlington
Netherlands head coach Andries Jonker said playing Vietnam at the 2023 Women’s World Cup on Tuesday could be as difficult as playing the defending champion the U.S.

Before the match at Forsyth Barr Stadium in New Zealand, the two teams are in opposite situations. The Netherlands have four points after winning against Portugal and drawing with the U.S. They need only one more point to advance, while Vietnam have already been eliminated after losing to the U.S. and Portugal without even scoring a goal.

Jonker said he was confident the Netherlands were capable of beating Vietnam, but he did not want his players to get cocky when facing the Southeast Asian team.

"Playing Vietnam is as intense as facing the U.S.," Jonker said at a press conference on Monday. "We have a lot of respect for Vietnam. They played well in recent matches, and they didn't lose big against Portugal and the U.S."

In fact, coach Jonker doesn't just want three points. In previous interviews, he emphasized the target of winning big against Vietnam to improve the goal difference and lead group E to avoid facing Sweden, the team that are most likely to top group G, in the next round of 16.

"We are not afraid of any opponent," Jonker said. "Of course, everyone wants to meet a weaker opponent, but in reality it’s different, and we have to be ready to face stronger opponents."

This is the first encounter between the two teams. Vietnam are trying to avoid becoming the second Asian team to lose all three group-stage matches without scoring after Japan did so in 1991.

The Netherlands have won seven of their last nine matches at the World Cup. The two matches that they failed to win were all against the U.S. (a 1-1 draw in the group stage this year, and a 0-2 loss in the 2019 Women’s World Cup final).

The match between Vietnam and the Netherlands will take place at 2 p.m. on Tuesday (Hanoi time) at Forsyth Barr Stadium, New Zealand on Tuesday and will be reported live on VnExpress International.

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