Fear of Thailand a thing of the past, says Vietnam coach

By Lam Thoa   March 26, 2019 | 04:24 pm PT
Fear of Thailand a thing of the past, says Vietnam coach
Coach Park Hang-seo speaks at a press conference after Vietnam had a thrashing 4-0 win against Thailand in Hanoi Tuesday night. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Binh
After a 4-0 victory Tuesday, pleasantly surprised coach Park Hang-seo says Vietnam is no longer afraid of Thailand.

"To be honest, today I didn’t expect the team to pull off such a big win over Thailand. I haven’t got a chance to face Thailand at the national team level, but our U22 and U23 have beaten them, so from now on Vietnam is not afraid of Thailand anymore," Park said at the post match press conference.

Thailand is often considered the regional powerhouse and Vietnam rarely managed to beat them. The Tuesday win was their biggest ever.

Park praised the players, staff and assistance for their contributions to this result.

"My players fought with bravery and tenacity. Football needs luck, but luck only comes to people that work hard and try their best. I would like to thank the players who tried their best to get a win. I also want to dedicate this victory to the assistants and the staff, who worked really hard for the team," Park said.

Vietnam skipper Nguyen Quang Hai said his teammates were very happy after the game, which sealed a spot for the country in the AFC U23 Championship next year.

"The team tried so hard and it paid off. We’re so happy about that. If the team had more time to prepare and play with their true form, then a 4-0 win would not be a surprise. We were put under pressure but the fans came here tonight and motivated us to play well. This victory is our gift to them," Hai said. The 21-year-old midfielder assisted two of the goals.

Thailand coach Alexandre Gama was also surprised with at the score line.

"Congrats Vietnam, you played very well and deserved this victory. But I am surprised with this score. Not many people thought of a 4-0 win for Vietnam," Gama said.

"I can’t explain it. We were too confident and then suffered a big loss. Even Vietnam didn’t think that they can beat us 4-0," he said.

Thailand head coach Alexandre Gama said Vietnam deserved to win. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Binh.

Thailand head coach Alexandre Gama said Vietnam deserved to win. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Binh

Before Vietnam went into the game with Thailand, not many people expected a result of this magnitude, because Vietnam had several young players who didn’t have enough time to train together, in contrast to their opponents who came very well prepared.

Vietnam’s performance in the qualifying group K matches, conceding no goals and scoring 11 in three matches against Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand, is likely to add to stature of "miracle Park."

In the previous edition of the tournament, Vietnam also surprised fans with an amazing performance, beating more fancied teams to reach the final, losing 1-2 to Uzbekistan in the last minute of extra time in tough conditions.

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