Vietnam not afraid of Indonesia: head coach

By Lam Thoa   August 25, 2023 | 05:25 pm PT
Vietnam not afraid of Indonesia: head coach
Coach Hoang Anh Tuan during a press conference on Aug. 25, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Coach Hoang Anh Tuan says Indonesia are tough competitor, but he is confident Vietnam will best the rival squad when the teams clash at the 2023 AFF U23 Championship final.

"Vietnam have completed our target, which is getting into the final," said Tuan.

"If Indonesia win tomorrow, I will not be surprised because they are a strong opponent led by a great South Korean coach [Shin Tae-yong]. However, that doesn’t mean we fear Indonesia. Vietnam will respect the opponent and try to play with our best form."

Tuan said one of Indonesia’s strengths is flexibility.

"Indonesia have a great coach and a balanced and experienced squad. Thanks to that, they are really flexible tactically. They can make changes depending on the opponent but still be effective," he added.

However, the 55-year-old coach is also confident in Vietnam’s flexibility.

"We know how to deal with each opponent. Unlike playing against Malaysia, we will have a different approach with Indonesia. I believe we are preparing well for this game," Tuan said.

As Indonesia head coach Shin Tae-yong, he said Indonesia will go all in for the title.

"We have made it into the final, but many players are injured," Shin said. "However, we will adapt and give our best to win this tournament.

Shin also responded to Tuan’s compliment that he is the key to success for Indonesia.

"I want to thank him for that compliment, but the players are the ones who perform, I just draw the big picture for them," he said.

Coach Shin Tae-yong  during the press conference on August 25, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

Coach Shin Tae-yong during a press conference on Aug. 25, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

The tournament in Thailand is going smoothly for Vietnam. After winning two group stage matches, defeating Laos 4-1 and Philippines 1-0, Vietnam entered the semifinals and thrashed Malaysia 4-1.

Vietnam's opponent in the final on Saturday Indonesia passed the group stage and defeated hosts Thailand 3-1 in the semifinals.

In the most recent encounter between the two teams, Indonesia, under coach Indra Sjafri, won 3-2 against Vietnam at the SEA Games 32. Most of the Indonesian players from that SEA Games are also participating in the AFF U23 Championship. They consider that win against Vietnam a boost of confidence before this upcoming final.

Coach Tuan understands the mentality of his opponents and had a talk with his players to boost their confidence.

"I always tell my players that even if they face the same opponent, the previous match will be different than the next match. Indonesia are currently led by coach Shin and through the victory against Thailand, I can see them following a different strategy than when they attended the SEA Games. Football is about repetition. Vietnam have to focus on our style of play and maintain the spirit of teamwork," he said.

The final between Vietnam and Indonesia will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday in Rayong Stadium, Thailand, and will be reported live on VnExpress International.

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