Vietnam will do their best to beat China: coach Park

By Lam Thoa   January 31, 2022 | 12:16 am PT
Vietnam will do their best to beat China: coach Park
Vietnam's coach Park Hang-seo at a press meet before the World Cup qualifier match against China at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi, January 31, 2022. Photo courtesy of the Vietnam Football Federation
Vietnam will do their best to beat China in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier match at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi, says coach Park Hang-seo.

"The match takes place on Lunar New Year’s Day. I understand that fans are expecting a lot out of the team this time," Park said at a press meet Monday.

"My players and I have all prepared our best to win against China. However, we should remember that in Southeast Asia, before Vietnam, only Thailand have made it this far into the qualifiers in Asia, and even they have never won a match."

After seven Group B matches, Vietnam have yet to earn a point. They have managed to score four goals, but conceded 16. In their away match against China in the UAE, Vietnam lost 2-3.

"China are a top-tier team in Asia, both strategy-wise and player-wise," Park said, adding that Chinese football clubs are also among the top in the continent.

"They have good foundations. Their investment for football is among the top in the world. The strength and physicality of Chinese players are very good. They have speed, are dangerous at the rear and are quick to counter-attack," Park said.

However, coach Park declined to comment on what he thought were China's weaknesses.

In Vietnam's most recent match in Australia on January 27, Vietnam lost 0-4 against the host. It was the first time Vietnam let their opponents score four goals in a match under Park's tutelage since 2017.

"As the head coach, I apologize for having let down our fans," Park said, adding that Vietnam were having a tough time at the World Cup qualifiers, where the best teams in Asia gather.

However, instead of focusing on losses and failures, Vietnamese football should look forward at the future, he said.

"After losing seven matches, we have received much criticism. My players and I are willing to receive them, but criticism should be adequate and constructive," he said, adding that Vietnam should discuss planning its next football generation to build a better future.

Park said he was not fond of the term "Golden Generation" used to refer to current crop of players. He said Vietnam had entered this stage of the World Cup qualifier in Asia as a result of efforts by the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and clubs.

"If the current generation is called the 'Golden Generation,' and the next generation have better results, how would we call them? The 'Diamond Generation'? The more important thing is to do our best so Vietnamese football can have a better future."

A maximum of 20,000 spectators will be allowed to enter the My Dinh Stadium to watch Tuesday’s match. All spectators will have to be fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19, and must have tested negative for the novel coronavirus within the last 72 hours.

The game will be reported live on VnExpress International.

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