Vietnam coach to use Afghanistan game as experiment

By Duc Dong   May 31, 2022 | 12:16 am PT
Vietnam coach to use Afghanistan game as experiment
Coach Park Hang-seo in a press conference before the friendly between Vietnam and Afghanistan on May 31, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
Coach Park Hang-seo sees the upcoming friendly with Afghanistan on Wednesday as a chance for the national team to try different tactics and formations.

"Thanks to playing in the final round of World Cup qualifiers, Vietnam didn't have to play the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers and got a direct spot in the tournament. Therefore, I want to use this friendly to test new tactics and have called up several new players that are suitable for this game," Park told a press conference Tuesday.

The national team started training a week ago with 23 players. The friendly match is on the international calendar of FIFA, so the result will affect the world rankings of both teams.

Park has called up most of the players in the squad for World Cup qualifiers, including superstar midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai, who's currently a free agent after parting ways with Hanoi FC in April.

Assisting Park in this game will be veteran striker Nguyen Anh Duc.

"This is only an exhibition so I want to create an opportunity for Anh Duc. He's studying to get a pro license in coaching. He will be useful in the new role on the national team since he was an experienced player and can improve team communication," Park said.

Afghanistan coach Anoush Dastgir was delighted to play Vietnam in preparation for the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers. He affirmed that Vietnam are stronger compared to the last encounter with Afghanistan in 2017.

"The game will be really interesting. For me, this is not just a friendly. We will try our best to win it," Dastgir said.

The game will be played in HCMC Wednesday night.

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