Vietnam coach rues Saudi Arabia defeat

By Lam Thoa   September 2, 2021 | 04:08 pm PT
Vietnam coach rues Saudi Arabia defeat
Park Hang-seo (L) during an interview after the World Cup qualifiers game between Saudi Arabia and Vietnam on September 3, 2021. Photo by Vietnam Football Federation
Coach Park Hang-seo said Vietnam were unlucky as they lost 1-3 to Saudi Arabia in the final round of World Cup qualifiers on Friday.

"Vietnam scored first but lost. It's quite unfortunate. We were also not lucky when we conceded two goals from penalties and had to play with 10 men for most of the second half," Park said in the post-match interview.

Three minutes into the game, Vietnam had a dream start with Nguyen Quang Hai scoring a beauty from outside of the box after a mistake of Saudi Arabia's defense. The Golden Dragons were able to protect the lead for the rest of the first half.

The turning point of the game came in the 49th minute. In an attempt to block a shot, the ball bounced from Do Duy Manh’s leg to his hand. At first, the referee let the game continue, but after receiving supports from the VAR room, he reviewed the incident and decided to give Saudi Arabia a penalty as well as a second yellow card for Manh. On the penalty spot, Salem Al-Dawsari equalized for Saudi Arabia.

A 10-man Vietnam conceded another two goals in the 67th and 79th minute, with the latter being a penalty again.

"Of course, what’s done is done, we cannot change it. But if we didn't lose a player, the score could have been 3-2," Park added.

Park also said that the players have given their best. However, conceding two goals from penalties has revealed some flaws in the tactics and the team must fix it to prepare for the next game with Australia on September 7 in Hanoi.

World Cup qualifiers: Saudi Arabia 3-1 Vietnam

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