SEA Games: Coach Park dreams of emulating Vietnamese women

By Lam Thoa   December 8, 2019 | 11:07 pm PT
SEA Games: Coach Park dreams of emulating Vietnamese women
Vietnam (red) play Indonesia in a group match at SEA Games in the Philippines, December 1, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
Coach Park Hang-se says his team will fight hard to emulate Vietnamese women in bringing home the men's football gold medal.

"We're just a step away from the gold medal," Park said at a Monday press conference before the final against Indonesia.

Vietnam have never won a gold medal in men's football at SEA Games, while their female counterparts won their sixth gold medal at the tournament Sunday, after beating Thailand in extra time.

"I was happy to see our female players fight and win the gold medal. I am proud for them. And I have a dream that both men and women's teams would return to Hanoi with gold medals," said Park.

"The Indonesian players are full of fighting power, structurally stable and can switch from defense to offense very well. In the group stage, they have partly shown that by scoring 17 goals, mostly from the left flank.

The final is expected to be very exciting. But Vietnam is also a top-tier team in SEA Games. All of our players are high-quality, ambitious and battle-ready. We know what to do."

Regarding the recent injury to star midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai, Park said that while he is unlikely to play against Indonesia, midfielders Do Hung Dung or Nguyen Trong Hoang could fill in for him.

Indonesian coach Indra Sjafri is also determined to win the gold medal.

"Tomorrow's match is very meaningful for Indonesian and Vietnamese fans," he said.

"We've lost to Vietnam in the group stage. At that time, I said that we would meet Vietnam again in the final, and that has come true. At the reunion tomorrow, we want to be the winner," he said.

This is the first time in 21 years that Indonesia has made it to the SEA Games men’s football final. Vietnam's last final appearance was 10 years ago, when they lost to Malaysia.

"We've come up with multiple strategies to defeat Vietnam in tomorrow's reunion," Sjafri added.

The final match of the men's football tournament at the SEA Games will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Hanoi time).

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