Forget beating Singapore, prepare to play Thailand: Park

By Lam Thoa, Duc Dong   December 3, 2019 | 07:21 am PT
Forget beating Singapore, prepare to play Thailand: Park
Vietnam's coach Park Hang-seo speaks at a press conference at the SEA Games match against Singapore in Manila, Philippines, December 3, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
Coach Park says Vietnam shouldn’t dwell on Tuesday’s 1-0 hard-fought win over Singapore, but focus on the next match against arch rivals Thailand.

"Our opponents today were really tough, we had to try our best and could only win in the last minutes. We should not be too happy about this result; we should forget it soon and focus on the next game, prepare the best we can to play Thailand," he said at a post-match conference in the Philippines.

Considered the underdog with two losses and a draw, Singapore was playing with nothing to lose but pride. They posed difficulties for Vietnam right from the beginning of the match.

Vietnam had no dangerous attack on the goal to show for its game in the first half. Instead, they made several inaccurate passes and received two yellow cards for harsh tackles.

"The first half was really hard. All the boys were under pressure. During the break, I told them to stay calm and try not to feel stressed," he said.

It was only in the 85th minute that Vietnam scored the only goal of the game, from a high, looping corner kick with a double header.

On why he used Nguyen Van Toan as goalkeeper for today’s match, Park said people should not misunderstand his intention.

"I did not replace Dung because of what he did in the match versus Indonesia. Dung is really good but Singapore is especially strong at high balls and Toan is more suitable for that."

In the Sunday game against Indonesia, Vietnam's ace goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung made a mistake with a aerial ball and let Indonesia score a goal.

For his part, Singapore's coach Fandi Ahmad expressed pride despite his team’s defeat.

"I feel sorry that Singapore lost. Vietnam is a strong opponent with good players. But today we played a good game, we defended well and created several chances but failed to score.

"I’m happy with what my players showed today. For me, this is our best game since the tournament started."

Singapores coach Fandi Ahmad  at the news briefing on Tuesday. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong

Singapore's coach Fandi Ahmad at a news briefing after thair SEA Games match against Vietnam in Manila, Philippines, December 3, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.

Ahmad said he and the team had studied the Vietnamese players very carefully.

Vietnamese players are very fast and have the ability to keep the ball under their control in tight spaces. Therefore, Singapore tried to approach that space as quick as they could and drag the ball as far away from the goal as possible, Ahmad said.

Vietnam are really strong at attacking from the wings and to cope with that, Singapore had narrowed its formation every time Vietnam had the intention of sending the ball to the wings and focused completely on the flank that had the ball, he added.

In their previous matches, Vietnam had beaten Brunei 6-0, Laos 6-1, and Indonesia 2-1. Today's win keeps them on top of group B. The team will meet Thailand, their long-standing rival, on Thursday.

Vietnamese men aim to win their first ever SEA Games football gold this year.

Vietnam 1-0 Singapore

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