'White Witch Doctor' Philippe Troussier draws first blood in Vietnam

By Quang Huy   November 7, 2019 | 11:20 am GMT+7

Vietnam smashed Mongolia 3-0 in their first qualifier of the 2020 AFC U19 Championship Wednesday, marking Frenchman Troussier’s winning start with the team.

Players of the Vietnamese U19 mens football team cheer after scoring the first goal in the match versus Mongolia. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong

Players of the Vietnamese U19 men's football team cheer after scoring against Mongolia in Thong Nhat Stadium, HCMC, November 6, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.

Coach Philippe Troussier started training the Vietnamese U19 men's football team on September 10.

The game against Mongolia at the Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City saw all goals scored for in the second half.

The first goal was scored by midfielder Nguyen Thanh Khoi, followed by another from a corner kick by Vietnamese defender Nguyen Duy Triet. Mongolian defender Javkhlan Odonchimeg made a mistake and fumbled an own goal to complete the 3-0 scoreline.

Speaking after the match, the French coach said Vietnam could have played a better game and that it was a pity that his wards missed many chances to score, given that their rivals did not have much possession of the ball.

But he said he is still "satisfied with the result and what matters most is that Vietnam has achieved three scores as targeted."

"In order to have this achievement,  the players had to show perseverance because the opening game is never an easy one," he said.

French coach Philippe Troussier gives instruction to Vietnamese U19 mens football team in their match against Mongolia at the 2020 AFC U19 Championship Qualifiers, HCMC, November 6, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.

French coach Philippe Troussier gives instruction to Vietnamese U19 men's football team in their match against Mongolia at the 2020 AFC U19 Championship Qualifiers, HCMC, November 6, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.

In upcoming matches, the Vietnamese boys will meet their counterparts from Guam Friday and then the Japanese team on Sunday.

Prior to the opening of the AFC U19 championship, U19 Vietnam beat their Thai rivals in a friendly tournament GSB Bangkok Cup before losing the final game to South Korea last month.

Troussier was named the new manager of Vietnam's U19 football team in place of Hoang Anh Tuan, who resigned after an unsuccessful AFF U18 Championship campaign in August.

Troussier previously served as the technical director of the Vietnamese Football Talents (PVF) Football Academy. Dubbed the ‘White Witch Doctor’ for his successful stint in Africa, he has managed the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, South Africa, and Burkina Faso teams.

His international career peaked during his spell in Japan (1998 - 2002) when his team won the 2000 AFC Asian Cup.

Two years later he led Japan to the last 16 of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, making it the country's best ever run in the competition.

In 2018 he became strategic director and then the technical director of the PVF Football Academy.

 
 
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