Vietnam gets new Korean coach after Frenchman's failure

By Lam Thoa   May 2, 2024 | 03:44 am PT
The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) has chosen South Korean coach Kim Sang-sik to take charge of the national football team in a deal expected to be announced on Friday.

VFF reached the final agreement with Kim on Thursday. He will coach the U23 and national team at the same time.

To avoid the inconvenience of a long-term contract like in the case of the previous coach Philippe Troussier, the contract between VFF and Kim has been divided into several stages, the succession of which depends on the results of major tournaments in chronological order.

The targets for Kim’s first year are the 2024 AFF Cup and 2025 SEA Games.

The South Korean coach will make his introduction at VFF headquarters in Hanoi next week.

Kim Sang-sik when he was coaching Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the K-League. Photo by AFP

Kim Sang-sik as coach of Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the K-League. Photo by AFP

Kim, 48, coached Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors from 2020 to 2023, winning the K-League 1 in 2021 and the Korea FA Cup in 2022. He was named best coach in the league for both seasons.

However, in early 2023, Kim was fired after Jeonbuk's poor start (winning only three out of 10 games).

As a player, he had 59 appearances for the South Korea national team between 2000 and 2012, and he helped the squad finish third at the Asian Cup in 2000 and 2007.

Prior to Troussier’s tenure, Vietnamese football was successful to historic heights under South Korean coach Park Hang-seo between 2017 and 2023. His teams finished as runners-up at the 2018 U23 Asian Cup, won the 2018 AFF Cup, made it to the quarterfinals of the 2019 Asian Cup, and entered the third qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup.

After Park left in early 2023, VFF signed a long-term contract with Troussier. However, the U23 and national team experienced a poor run, especially two defeats to Indonesia in the second qualifying round of the 2026 World Cup, which cost the French coach his job.

Currently, Vietnam are in third place in their group, with three points after four matches. That puts them three points behind second place Indonesia, so their chances of advancing have become quite slim.

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