Vietnam coach calls players 'warriors' after Thailand game

By Lam Thoa   June 2, 2022 | 04:46 pm PT
Vietnam coach calls players 'warriors' after Thailand game
Coach Gong Oh-kyun reacts after Thailand equalize against Vietnam in the U23 Asian Cup game on June 2, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Coach Gong Oh-kyun is proud of Vietnam players after they drew 2-2 against Thailand in their first game of U23 Asian Cup in Uzbekistan Thursday night.

"The players have given their best. That's the most important thing to me. They didn't have much time to train but still played well. I'm proud of them. Several players faced some problems before the game and we had to use the replacements. All of them played like warriors. Even the players who had to leave the field early due to injury also gave their best and I’m grateful for that," Gong said after the game.

Hours before the game, many Vietnam players had diarrhea and couldn’t play, including two key players Nguyen Thanh Binh and Ly Cong Hoang Anh. Gong had to put less experienced players in. During the game, Vietnam continued to face difficulties when some players were injured or ran out of stamina.

Despite the challenges, Vietnam played well and scored just 20 seconds into the game, thanks to a goal by Phan Tuan Tai. Ben Davis equalized for Thailand in the 35th minute, then Vietnam took the lead again after Nguyen Van Tung’s stunner in the 72nd minute. But Thailand were able to escape a defeat as Suphanat Mueanta scored a last-minute goal.

Throughout the game, Vietnam maintained pressure on Thailand and kept pushing forward instead of focusing on defending their lead, while Thailand were more flexible.

"I only concentrate on Vietnam’s playing style and strategy. We don’t have to change or adapt to the opponent’s tactics," Gong said.

Gong is also positive about Vietnam’s chance of getting past the group stage.

"We still have two games left. I will make plans for the next two games and put absolute trust in my players," he said.

On Sunday, Vietnam will face South Korea, who defeated Malaysia 4-1 on Thursday.

U23 Asian Cup: Vietnam 2-2 Thailand

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