Vietnam part ways with Philippe Troussier after big defeat against Indonesia

By Lam Thoa, Hieu Luong   March 26, 2024 | 03:15 pm PT
The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and coach Philippe Troussier agreed to part ways, two hours after Vietnam's 0-3 home defeat against Indonesia in the 2026 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.

"We have just finished the meeting and both sides agreed to terminate the contract," VFF general secretary Duong Nghiep Khoi told VnExpress.

At this meeting, coach Troussier thanked the players, the clubs, VFF as well as the fans and apologized for not meeting expectations. In response, VFF also acknowledged Troussier's efforts and contributions, wishing him and his family good health and happiness.

HLV Troussier trong trận Việt Nam thua Indonesia 0-2 ở lượt bốn bảng F vòng loại hai World Cup 2026 - khu vực châu Á. Ảnh: Lâm Thỏa

Coach Philippe Troussier in Vietnam's 0-3 loss to Indonesia in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers on March 26, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

Troussier signed a contract to coach the Vietnam U23 and national football team in March 2023, valid until July 31, 2026. He got off to a good start with three consecutive victories against Hong Kong (1-0), Syria (1-0) and Palestine (2-0) in friendlies

But after that, Vietnam suffered 10 defeats in the next 11 matches. Vietnam's only victory in this disappointing run was against the Philippines in the 2026 World Cup second qualifying round.

The biggest defeat during this period is the 0-6 loss to South Korea. Under Troussier, Vietnam also lost to opponents that they often defeat under the previous coach Park Hang-seo such as Indonesia and Kyrgyzstan. The two most recent defeats, both at the hands of Indonesia, left Vietnam with almost no chance of advancing to the third qualifying round of the 2026 World Cup even though they still have two matches left.

With only four wins in 14 matches, Troussier has the lowest win rate (28.57%) among foreign coaches who have led Vietnam national football team.

When Troussier took over as head coach, Vietnam were 94th on the FIFA world ranking. After 13 matches, the team fell to 107th, the lowest in many years and could drop down further after the disappointing defeat to Indonesia.

In May 2023, Troussier's U23 team also lost 2-3 to Indonesia in the semi-finals of SEA Games 32.

Troussier, 68, played as a defender for French clubs from 1976 to 1983. He switched to coaching immediately after retiring. Dubbed the "White Witch Doctor" for his successful stint in Africa, Troussier has managed Ivory Coast, Nigeria, South Africa, and Burkina Faso.

His international career peaked during his stint in Japan (1998 - 2002) when he won the 2000 AFC Asian Cup.

Two years later, he led Japan to the final 16 at the 2002 World Cup, the country's best-ever run in the competition at the time. In 2020, the Asian Football Confederation named him one of the greatest coaches in Asian Cup history.

Troussier acted as a strategic adviser and then technical director of the Promotion Fund of Vietnamese Football Talent (PVF) Academy in 2018. He was appointed head coach of Vietnam U19 team a year later, who he helped qualify for the 2020 U19 AFC Championship, which was canceled due to Covid-19. He left after his contract with VFF expired in June 2021.

14 games of Vietnam national football team under coach Troussier
Vietnam 1-0 Hong Kong (friendly)
Vietnam 1-0 Syria (friendly)
Vietnam 2-0 Palestine (friendly)
Vietnam 0-2 China (friendly)
Vietnam 0-2 Uzbekistan (friendly)
Vietnam 0-6 Korea (friendly)
Vietnam 2-0 Philippines (2026 World Cup qualifier)
Vietnam 0-1 Iraq (2026 World Cup qualifier)
Vietnam 1-2 Kyrgyzstan (practice match)
Vietnam 2-4 Japan (Asian Cup 2023 group stage)
Vietnam 0-1 Indonesia (Asian Cup 2023 group stage)
Vietnam 2-3 Iraq (Asian Cup 2023 group stage)
Vietnam 0-1 Indonesia (World Cup 2026 qualifier)
Vietnam 0-3 Indonesia (2026 World Cup qualifier)
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