Vietnam's loss to Indonesia comes from individual error: coach Troussier

By Lam Thoa   March 21, 2024 | 08:22 pm PT
Vietnam's loss to Indonesia comes from individual error: coach Troussier
Coach Troussier at the press conference after Vietnam's 0-1 loss to Indonesia in the second qualifying round of the 2026 World Cup on March 21, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Coach Philippe Troussier admitted that an individual mistake cost Vietnam the game against Indonesia, but the team learned a lot for the second leg of the World Cup qualifiers next week.

The French coach said Vietnam were mentally prepared and not surprised by the pressure from the Indonesian fans at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Thursday night. Vietnam played well in the first half, especially in off-ball defending and transition, creating some scoring opportunities, but the hosts scored first to gain a big advantage, he said.

"Vietnam conceded from an individual mistake," Troussier said at the post-match press conference. "We have trained for this over and over again. But even Japan in the 2023 Asian Cup conceded against Indonesia in a similar situation. Unfortunately, the goal came right at the beginning of the second half and that changed everything."

Troussier said that Indonesia's naturalized players were not much different from the rest, but the key point of the match was the moment Vietnam conceded the only goal.

Vietnam had a good start in the match, under the pressure of nearly 80,000 Indonesian fans. In the first half, the team only had 37% possession, but the plays were cohesive. Vietnam had three shots including one toward goal and many times startled Indonesia's defense with counterattacks.

However, from a throw-in at the beginning of the second half, wing-back Vo Minh Trong did not have a good clearance in the box, sending the ball to the position of midfielder Egy Maulana, who easily finished and defeated goalkeeper Filip Nguyen.

Troussier tried to strengthen the attacking line with Nguyen Tien Linh and Vu Van Thanh, while Ho Tan Tai and Le Pham Thanh Long replaced Minh Trong and Do Hung Dung. In the 82nd minute, he withdrew defender Bui Tien Dung to make room for forward Nguyen Van Toan. However, these adjustments were not enough to help Vietnam turn the score around. In the last minute, the team almost conceded a second goal from Maulana's dangerous shot.

The 0-1 defeat dropped Vietnam to third in group F with three points, while Indonesia rose to second with four, after Iraq.

"The result was not good but the players tried their best," the 68-year-old coach said. "Vietnam learned some lessons for the second leg. Our goal is to close gap. Hopefully, when we return to Hanoi, we will come back stronger. We hope the fans come to the stadium to support us as passionately as the Indonesian fans did in this match."

"We will not give up, we will not surrender. Vietnam still have one match at home. We must win that match if we want to advance," he added.

World Cup qualifiers: Indonesia 1-0 Vietnam

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