Not much difference in level between Vietnam and Australia: coach Park

By Lam Thoa   September 7, 2021 | 07:57 am PT
Not much difference in level between Vietnam and Australia: coach Park
Coach Park Hang-seo in a press conference after the World Cup qualifiers game between Vietnam and Australia on September 7, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Coach Park Hang-seo said Vietnam had a good game against Australia despite a 0-1 defeat Tuesday night.

"This is Vietnam’s first time in the final round of World Cup qualifiers, facing top teams in Asia. The players have followed the tactics well and executed them effectively. The level of football between the two teams was not too different, but we had a disadvantage in physique and stamina. That’s the main difference.

"If the players had better positioning, Vietnam could’ve avoided conceding," Park said at the post-match press conference.

Against a much stronger opponent, Vietnam played well and even created good chances. One of them was a shot by Nguyen Phong Hong Duy, which hit the arm of defender Rhyan Grant inside the box. After reviewing the situation on VAR, the referee decided that it was not a penalty for Vietnam. Grant was also the player who scored the only goal for Australia, in the 43rd minute.

"The referee has reviewed the situation on VAR many times. I think he made the correct call. Maybe he saw that it was not on purpose, so he didn’t give a penalty to Vietnam. We have to accept it," Park said.

In this game, instead of using goalkeeper Bui Tan Truong, Park decided to put Dang Van Lam in the line-up, despite the fact that 28-year-old hasn't had much match practice for some time.

"Truong has performed well in the last three games of the second qualifying round. However, my assistants were worried that his mentality was not good in important games. I chose Van Lam to face Australia, a team that is strong in physique and heading ability. And today, Lam played well, with Vietnam only conceding one goal. In addition, I want to create more competition in the team, that’s why I selected Lam for this game," Park said.

About the two games next month against Oman and China, Park said: "On September 16, the team will start training. We will prepare plans then."

World Cup qualifiers: Vietnam 0-1 Australia

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