Vietnam still stronger than Indonesia: coach Park

By Lam Thoa   January 6, 2023 | 06:59 am PT
Vietnam still stronger than Indonesia: coach Park
Coach Park Hang-seo gives instructions to the players on the sideline during the AFF Cup semifinal first leg between Indonesia and Vietnam on January 6, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Despite an underwhelming 0-0 draw in the first leg of AFF Cup semifinals on Friday, coach Park Hang-seo says that Vietnam are still stronger than Indonesia.

"Away games are always difficult, but my players got that Vietnamese spirit. Although we didn’t win, we have achieved our target. I want to thank the players for their effort," Coach Park said after the game, adding that he was satisfied with a draw.

Playing at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, a challenging place for any team that face Indonesia, Vietnam were under immense pressure. The defense was not solid, while the midfield didn’t have enough creativity to make relevant passes to striker Nguyen Tien Linh. Vietnam had 56% of possession but managed only four shots with two on goal for the whole 90 minutes.

Indonesia were faster and sharper in their attacks. However, finishing continues to be their weakness. In the first half, Indonesia had seven shots with two on goal but couldn’t beat goalkeeper Dang Van Lam.

In the second half, Indonesia’s stamina lagged, and they only had one more shot on goal. But their defense picked up the slack to keep a clean sheet. The second leg will take place at Vietnam’s home stadium My Dinh in Hanoi on January 9.

Since Park became Vietnam head coach in late 2017, Vietnam haven’t lost to Indonesia. The team had two wins in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, and another a goalless draw in the 2020 AFF Cup. In the most recent SEA Games, the Vietnam’s U23 team won all three games against Indonesia.

In this most recent encounter, however, Indonesia played better and created more chances.

But coach Park doesn’t think that they are a stronger team than Vietnam.

"Indonesia are a strong team, but Vietnam are stronger," Park said. "Under coach Shin Tae-yong, they’ve had many new players and their level has been rising over the past two years. But recently, we defeated them 4-0 in the World Cup qualifiers, drew 0-0 in the AFF Cup and won 3-0 at the SEA Games. Therefore, Indonesia are strong, but Vietnam are still stronger."

AFF Cup semifinal: Indonesia 0-0 Vietnam

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