AFC U23 Championship: Coach Park okay with UAE draw in tough opener

By Lam Thoa, Hoang An   January 10, 2020 | 07:26 am PT
AFC U23 Championship: Coach Park okay with UAE draw in tough opener
Coach Park Hang-seo thanks the fans after the game between Vietnam and UAE on January 10, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
The head coach of the Vietnamese team is satisfied with one point from the tournament’s first game against fancied opponents UAE.

"Before the game, I told the players that this is going to be a very challenging match and it turned out to be true," Park Hang-seo said in the post match conference. "Since this is the first game of a big tournament, pressure is something the players cannot escape. Therefore, one point is a satisfactory result. I want to thank my players for it."

He also commented on a hand ball incident involving a UAE defender.

"This year’s tournament uses the VAR technology and we should trust it. When the referee said it was not a hand ball after reviewing it on VAR, we believe in his decision," he said.

Park also said that Vietnam need to improve their execution of tactics.

"We used the 3-4-3 formation for offense and switched to 5-4-1 to defend. However, the transition was not good. We need more time to make this operation smoother. In the next game we will try to improve on our tactics."

Vietnamese captain Nguyen Quang Hai also expressed satisfaction with the result.

"This is our first game, and with a strong opponent like UAE, we faced difficulties. One point is an acceptable result for Vietnam. We created some chances and were well organized. Hopefully the team will improve and get better results in the next game," Hai said.

However, UAE head coach Maceij Skorza was not so happy with the result.

"I was a little bit disappointed that couldn’t win against Vietnam. We were playing against a strong opponent but my players performed well, especially in the first half. It’s a shame that we weren’t be able to score a goal and get the win," Skorza said.

Skorza had words of praise for Vietnam, too.

"They are a strong team and one of the favorites to win the trophy. Vietnamese players are well organized and accurate, especially in deploying their tactics," he said.

Friday’s opening game in at the Chang Arena Stadium in Buriram, Thailand, was truly a tough one for Vietnam because their opponents dominated it with 64 percent possession. However, they managed 17 shots at the goal compared to just 12 by UAE.

Vietnam will play their second game of the championship against Jordan at the same stadium on January 13. The match kicks off at 8:15 p.m. and will be reported live.

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