Vietnam midfielder motivated by first goal for French club

By Lam Thoa   October 9, 2022 | 11:08 pm PT
Vietnam midfielder motivated by first goal for French club
A video screenshot shows Nguyen Quang Hai scoring for Paul FC, October 8, 2022.
Vietnam star midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai regarded his first goal for Pau FC an important milestone of his career.

"The goal is very important to me. It will motivate me to try harder," Hai told La République des Pyrenees after the match against Rodez at the Nouste Camp on Saturday night.

Hai came off the bench to replace forward Pape Inou Ba in the 78th minute when Pau was trailing 1-2. Just 8 minutes after coming on, Hai demonstrated his clever movement to beat the offside trap and receive Xavier Kouassi's pass. He then calmly beat the opposition keeper in a one-on-one with a left-footed shot, leveling the score. Hai was elated after opening his account for Pau as he ran toward the stands to celebrate with the fans while making a heart shape with his hands.

Nguyen Quang Hai scores for Paul FC against Rodez at the Nouste Camp, October 8, 2022.

He attributed his good performance in the match to his call-up to the Vietnam national team for two friendlies against Singapore and India in September. "Playing for the national team created new motivations for me and helped me get into good form, allowing me to contribute more to the club," said Hai.

Since signing with Pau on June 29, Hai has only played seven matches and had two starts for the club. Despite his tough start to life in France, Pau manager Didier Tholot remained positive about his new signing as he highly regarded Hai's quality, especially his final passes. Nonetheless, he believed there was still much room for improvement if Hai wanted to make it in one of Europe's top leagues.

"If I wanted to show off in Asia, I would start him. But today, I think about the balance of the team and the players. He plays little at the moment, but he will certainly play more later. Football takes time; look at Daubin, Koffi, and Evan," said Tholot. "I am convinced that Hai will help us win matches in the coming months."

The draw against Rodez helps Pau FC move to 16th in Ligue 2. They play FC Annecy this Saturday.

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