U18 Vietnam football coach resigns after historic failure

By Nam Anh, Xuan Binh   August 15, 2019 | 08:57 pm PT
U18 Vietnam football coach resigns after historic failure
Coach Hoang Anh Tuan reacts at the AFF U18 game between Vietnam and Cambodia, August 15, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
Head coach of U18 Vietnam resigned Thursday after the team ended their AFF Cup run, earning the country's first ever loss against Cambodia.

Hoang Anh Tuan’s resignation request was granted by the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) after the Cambodia match, which had been closely followed by fans as it would decide if Vietnam could advance to the semifinals of the AFF U18 Championship.

"After Vietnam couldn’t get into the semifinals of the tournament, Hoang Anh Tuan expressed his desire to resign from the head coach position. VFF recognizes his contribution and accepts his resignation," a VFF representative said.

Despite winning at the Malaysia and Singapore games, a 1-4 defeat against Australia and a 0-0 draw with Thailand put Vietnam in a very tricky situation. In the last round of the group stage, Vietnam had to defeat Cambodia and Thailand had to defeat Malaysia.

Thailand did win against Malaysia, but Vietnam couldn’t fulfill their part. They got a shocking defeat 1-2 against Cambodia, who opened the scoreboard in the 50th minute.

This is the first time in history that Vietnam lost to Cambodia in an official tournament. In the previous 23 matches since 1991, Vietnam won 21, scoring 95 goals and conceding 15.

Vietnam had played Cambodia at the AFF U18 Championship earlier and they won all three games.

Most players in the Cambodia team that defeated Vietnam on Thursday were the ones losing 0-1 to Vietnam at the AFF U16 Championship three years ago.

Cambodian media were excited with the unprecedented victory. Cambodia Hot News Channel called it "an important milestone" of Cambodian football.

After the Thursday game in Ho Chi Minh City, coach Tuan said "there’s nothing to explain or any excuses for the failure in this tournament."

Tuan, 51, was assigned as the head coach of the U19 team in 2015. He led the team in the semifinals of the AFC U19 in 2016 and helped Vietnam got the ticket to U20 World Cup for the first time in history of Vietnamese football.

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