Vietnam coach sees steady improvement despite Saudi Arabia defeat

By Lam Thoa, Nhan Dat   November 16, 2021 | 07:42 am PT
Vietnam coach sees steady improvement despite Saudi Arabia defeat
Coach Park Hang-seo answers the press after the World Cup qualifier between Vietnam and Saudi Arabia on November 16, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Coach Park Hang-seo said he was proud of his players for showing steady improvement despite a 0-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in a World Cup qualifier game at home.

"It's unfortunate that Vietnam haven't been able to score in the home games, although we have scored in away games. The players have improved game after game. They have given their best in this match," Park said after the game Tuesday night.

At the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam were dominated by group B toppers Saudi Arabia. Vietnam only had 36 percent of possession and seven shots at the goal with one on target.

However, the team attacked more than in previous games, creating more chances and only conceded one goal to Saleh Al-Shehri in the 31st minute.

"We have lost six games. Although the players have shown great fighting spirit in each of them, six losses in a row of course have affected their mentality. I have to help them offload the pressure," Park said.

Vietnam are still looking for the first point after six defeats, while Saudi Arabia continue to top the group.

"I always remind the players to be confident. But the problem is how to turn confidence into action. I told the players that it also depends on other factors like the opponent's level and the pressure that they put on us. Sometimes we are so confident but cannot fight the pressure from the opponent.

"We have lost many games, but the players are getting better. When we play the top teams in Asia, our level and adaptability will increase. That experience will help the players in the upcoming AFF Cup tournament," he added.

After this game, Vietnam will begin preparing for the AFF Cup, which will take place in Singapore next month. Vietnam are the defending champions, having won the title in 2018.

World Cup qualifiers: Vietnam 0-1 Saudi Arabia

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