Vietnam aim for best result in Indonesia rematch: coach Troussier

By Lam Thoa   March 25, 2024 | 01:07 am PT
Coach Philippe Troussier affirmed that Vietnam are well prepared to defeat Indonesia in Hanoi and reclaim their chance to advance in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.
Coach Philippe Troussier during the press conference on March 25, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

Coach Philippe Troussier during the press conference on March 25, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

"Vietnam still stick to the goal of getting the best results to enter the third qualifying round of the 2026 World Cup. After tomorrow's match with Indonesia, we have two more games (against Iraq and the Philippines). We still can decide our own fate. We have no doubt about our target," coach Troussier said in a press conference on Monday, before the match at My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi.

The French coach sees playing at home two out of the remaining games of the second qualifying round a great advantage and hopes to receive the support of Vietnamese fans. He affirmed that the team are aware of their responsibilities towards the fans and the nation.

He called on the players to follow his tactics, be strong in duels, be wise and execute the plays accurately.

Indonesia are a puzzle for coach Troussier. The French coach first encountered this team at the 2004 Asian Cup, when he was leading Qatar. His team at that time was stronger but suffer a surprising 1-2 defeat and he was sacked after that. After 20 years, the risk of Troussier getting sacked because of Indonesia came back. The trust that Vietnamese fans have in him is running out when the team suffered three consecutive losses to Indonesia in the semifinals of the SAE Games 32, the group stage of the 2023 Asian Cup and the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

The most recent defeat at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium last week cost Vietnam second place to Indonesia. After three matches, Vietnam only have three points, one behind Indonesia and six behind Iraq. If they cannot win in the rematch at My Dinh, the door to the third qualifying round for Vietnam is considered closed. When this happens, it's likely that Troussier will be sacked, because the terms of his contract clearly state that he must take the team forward in the World Cup qualifiers.

Before the crucial match with Indonesia, coach Troussier said he had analyzed and speculated about Indonesia's approach. According to him, the guests can play counterattack or direct attacking football.

"We must try until the last second no matter what. Our goal is to have no regrets after the match," the 68-year-old coach affirmed.

Troussier also said that in recent days he has observed the expressions and attitudes of the players so he is not worried about their mentality. He believes they are still in good spirit.

"I always want them to perform better on the field. I’m the coach, I give instructions and tactics. After a long time working together, I know they understand me. On the field, I can’t play for them. Success or not depends on their decision. In addition to following the tactics, the players must be aware of how to perform best. Only then will the results come."

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