Coach Park proud of players despite defeat

By Staff reporters   January 24, 2019 | 04:37 pm PT
Vietnam bowed out of the Asian Cup, losing to Japan, but coach Park was happy with his players’ performance.
Coach Park on the pitch of Vietnams game with Japan. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong

Coach Park on the pitch of Vietnam's game with Japan in Dubai, UAE, Thursday night. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong

Vietnam were the minnows going into their quarterfinal game against Japan, a four-time Asian Cup champions, but they fought hard and gave their much more fancied opponents a run for their money. They even created some good chances for themselves, but could not convert them. Japan was only able to advance with the help of a penalty kick early into the second half.

"I was a bit disappointed with the result. But making it into the quarterfinal is already an amazing feat. Despite losing to Japan, my players showed how good they can be and I’m really proud of them," Park said.

Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam, who made many great saves in the game, was sad because Vietnam couldn’t score a goal.

"Vietnam had to face Japan, a strong team. We tried our best but sadly we couldn’t score. The team’s journey at the tournament ends here. A shout out to all the fans who came to the stadium as well as the ones at home for their support," Lam said.

Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu was happy that Japan didn’t concede against Vietnam.

"The important thing is Japan advanced to the semifinals. I am satisfied that the team kept a clean sheet. Vietnam played very well today so I’m glad that my team has overcome this opponent," Moriyasu said.

Vietnam’s journey at Asian Cup 2019 has been one to remember, as they were the last team to qualify for round of 16, but beat Jordan who’d topped their group to proceed to quarterfinals. After the tournament, the players will return to Vietnam and celebrate Tet, the Lunar New Year, with their families.

The nation will celebrate with them.

Despite their final loss, fans at home have demonstrated their pride and love all over social media. It was the first time Vietnam entered Asian Cup quarterfinals since 2007.

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