‘Vietnam won, that’s important’: Coach Troussier

By Lam Thoa   April 30, 2023 | 07:16 am PT
‘Vietnam won, that’s important’: Coach Troussier
Vietnam men’s football coach Philippe Troussier speaks to reporters on April 30, 2023 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Coach Philippe Troussier wanted to emphasize on Vietnam’s victory against Laos on Sunday evening in their first match in SEA Games 32, but added that there were some problems that need to be resolved.

"I am satisfied with Vietnam’s victory today. We scored two goals and did not concede any," Troussier told reporters after the match.

The result put Vietnam in a good position for the next three matches to aim for either the first or second place in Group B ranking, he added.

Against an underrated opponent, Vietnam – as the reigning champion of men's football at the SEA Games – made an impressive start with a goal by Nguyen Van Tung’s header in the second minute.

However, the team's attacks gradually lost their power. Coach Troussier's players were rushing and lack cohesiveness when facing the fierce defense system of Laos.

In the last 20 minutes of the first half, goalkeeper Quan Van Chuan and his teammates were struggling to stand firm in front of the Laos’ waves of attack.

Only until the added minutes of the second half did Vietnam secure the win by Nguyen Quoc Viet’s shot, which came from a counter-attack.

The match seemed to prolong doubts about the team's ability under coach Troussier - who took over the from coach Park Hang-seo this year.

The French coach also admitted that the players struggled at some point during the match.

"It was great to start with a win, but of course I was not happy at some moments when the players could have done better."

He added: "But I want to defend the players because the first game is always a tough one. I want us to remember the result."

Speaking to reporters, Laos coach Michael Weiss said that the match should have ended in a tie.

Troussier dismissed the claim.

"We won two-nil," he said. "The goals did not come out of nowhere. Our players made their best effort to score. In the end, we were the victors, and that’s what matters."

In the last two SEA Games, led by Park, Vietnam men’s football team won both gold medals, and this put some pressure on Troussier.

He said: "I can feel the pressure from the media. As a coach, I like pressure. I want to teach the players a new football philosophy."

Vietnam used to play defensively, but to reach new heights, the players need to control the ball better so they can score.

Vietnam will play Singapore on May 3.

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