AFC U23 Championship: Coach takes responsibility for Vietnam’s early ouster

By Lam Thoa, Quang Huy   January 16, 2020 | 11:07 am PT
AFC U23 Championship: Coach takes responsibility for Vietnam’s early ouster
Park Hang-seo in the post-match conference of Vietnam vs North Korea on January 16, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
Coach Park Hang-seo took responsibility for Vietnam’s rather tame performance at the AFC U23 Championship saying the players have much room for improvement.

"We had three games, drew two and lost one. Two years ago, we were the runners-up, so it’s obvious that the result this year was disappointing. The head coach will take responsibilty for this. My players tried their best, but they still have much to improve," Park said at a press conference Thursday night, after Vietnam lost 1-2 to North Korea in their last group stage game and got eliminated from the tournament.

Park also zeroed in on some positive aspects of the U23 team’s performance.

"It’s hard to say anything positive about our performance when we exited early from the tournament and only scored one goal in three games. If there is anything positive, it’s the effort some new players put into the game. They can play for the national team in the future."

Park said his next focus was the World Cup 2022 qualifiers by the national team.

"Since the U23 team won’t have any other tournament left this year, we will focus on the national team. We will face Malaysia by the end of March and we will try to win that game," he said.

Disappointed forward Nguyen Tien Linh apologized to the fans.

"It’s really hard to talk about the failure. We have to face it and look forward to the future. The players have tried their very best. Today was a loss, unfortunately. I want to say sorry to the fans."

Linh scored in the 16th minuted before North Korea equalized 10 minutes later and set the winning score with a penalty shot in the 90th minute.

North Korea’s head coach Ri Yu-li said Vietnam lost because they made many mistakes.

North Korea coach Ri Yu-li pointed out the reason behind Vietnams defeat in the post-match conferenece on January 16. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.

North Korea coach Ri Yu-li points out the reason behind Vietnam's defeat in the post-match conferenece on January 16, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.

"It’s great that my players didn’t make (many) mistakes, while the Vietnamese defense had many. In such an intense match like this, you cannot allow mistakes," Yu-li said.

He also said Vietnam’s early elimination is part of what happens in football.

"I feel lucky because my players played well. I’m also not surprised that Vietnam, the runners-up, got crossed out of the tournament. Anything can happen in football."

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