Vietnam coach boosts players' confidence ahead of Australia clash

By Lam Thoa   September 6, 2021 | 03:47 am PT
Vietnam coach boosts players' confidence ahead of Australia clash
Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo speaks at a press conference ahead of the Vietnam and Australia's World Cup qualifiers match, September 6, 2021. Photo by Vietnam Football Federation
Admitting a large gap between Vietnam and Australia, coach Park Hang-seo promised Monday that the team would play their Tuesday match with high determination.

"Vietnam have the lowest FIFA rank among the teams in group B, so all games at this stage will be challenging. In the previous game with Saudi Arabia, we scored first but lost after playing with 10 men. But we gave our best until the last seconds.

"Playing Australia tomorrow, the team will definitely continue to fight with the highest spirit. As the head coach, I will find a way to boost the mentality of the players to help them battle and get the best result possible," Park said in the pre-game interview.

In the 1-3 loss against Saudi Arabia, Vietnam had drawn first blood with a goal from Nguyen Quang Hai. However, in the second half, the team conceded three goals quickly after Do Duy Manh’s red card.

On Tuesday, Vietnam will get to play at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, where they have been unbeaten for 17 games. However, Park admitted that Australia are at a much higher level.

"In the second qualifying round, they scored 28 goals and conceded two, which shows their formidable offense. Among their 27 players, only one plays in Australia. Twenty-one are in Europe and the rest in Japan, China and Kuwait. Their physique is also really good, which makes Australia dangerous in aerial situations. In addition, they have great skills so they can fit in different styles of play," Park added.

Besides the gap in level, Vietnam are also facing a crisis in defense, with most of their key defenders absent because of injuries or suspension.

"This game means a lot because it will be the first time that Vietnam face Australia at the national team level. I can't guarantee anything, but the team will give their best," Park said.

Tuesday's game will be the first match between the national teams of Vietnam and Australia. It will kick off at 7 p.m. (Hanoi time) and will be reported live on VnExpress International.

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