2020 AFC U23 Championship qualification

Coach Park predicted to field strongest squad against Indonesia U23s

Sunday, 2019-03-24 11:20:44
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Determined to win a ticket to the AFC U23 Championship finals, Coach Park Hang-seo is expected to field his strongest squad against Indonesia U23s. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)
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NDO – Trouncing Brunei U23s 6-0 in the opening match at the 2020 AFC U23 Championship Qualifier - Group K two days ago, Vietnam U23s are full of confidence ahead of their second game against Indonesia U23s tonight. Stating that they will give everything for a win over their Indonesia rivals, Vietnam’s coach Park Hang-seo is likely to play his strongest squad aiming to win the full three points.

>>> Coach Park satisfied but urges Vietnam U23s to try harder

>>> Vietnam claim top spot after six-star win over Brunei

Vietnam are leading Group K with three points and +6 in goal difference, followed by Thailand U23s also with three points after beating Indonesia U23s 4-0 in the opening match. In their second match, surely cornered Indonesia will play aggressively when meeting Vietnam U23s in the hope to progress to the finals. With such an important game, coach Park has stated that he will do everything to beat Indonesia tonight, before facing very strong Thai opponents in the final game on March 26.

In the match against Brunei U23s, Vietnam’s 3-4-3 formation operated quite smoothly in general. Therefore, it is likely that there will not be too many changes in the match against Indonesia U23s at Hanoi’s My Dinh stadium tonight. The Korean strategist will continue to use his preferred 3-4-3 formation, in which the position of goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung is almost inviolable. During his first match, Tien Dung did not have to sweat against underdogs Brunei, but under pressure from much better Indonesian side, the Hanoi FC goalkeeper is expected to have a hard day. This will be an opportunity for Tien Dung to affirm his ability as the No. 1 goalkeeper of the current Vietnamese U23 squad.

In front of the goal, there will be three defenders. In the opening match, Van Hau, Thanh Chung and Tan Sinh were fielded by Park in front of goalie Bui Tien Dung. But most likely, there will be changes, especially the position on the left of Van Hau. In the previous match, Dinh Trong – a key defender that proved his value during the success of Vietnam football last year – was thrown onto the field in the second half. The return of Dinh Trong is expected to help the Vietnam U23 defensive line to be reinforced, because his solidity and experience will help a lot against opponents with good physique like Indonesia U23s.

Dinh Trong’s return will send Van Hau back to his preferred position on the left wing, instead of playing central defender as in the match against Brunei. This will help the Thai Binh native prove his ability on the left side as shown in past tournaments, thus helping Vietnam U23s to have a more effective attacking plan against Indonesia U23s.

The midfield is likely to belong to Thai Quy and Viet Hung – the duo who had an impressive performance against Brunei. While on the right wing, Ho Tan Tai will still be trusted with the mission to support both attack and defence like Van Hau.

Captain Quang Hai will be granted a place in the starting lineup to help Vietnam U23s play well against Indonesia U23s. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)

In the attacking line, captain Quang Hai will be granted his place in the starting lineup. The star of Hanoi FC, though playing only 45 minutes, was able to make a mark in all three goals of Vietnam U23s in the second half in the match against Brunei U23s. Quang Hai created an assist for his teammate to score, earned a penalty and then directly scored from the spot. Before the tournament opening, there were questions about the performance of the player from Hanoi’s Dong Anh district but coach Park spoke out to protect his player. According to Park, Quang Hai had to play too much and needed a break to recover.

It was not for any other purpose to let Quang Hai just play for 45 minutes but to help him regain his ball control and performance. And just as Park has said, Quang Hai in a few minutes on the field shone to help Vietnam trounce Brunei. In the next two important matches, Quang Hai's performance will have an extremely important effect on Vietnam's attacks.

The expected Vietnam U23s lineup for the match against Indonesia U23s.

Quang Hai's start will likely push striker Thanh Binh back to the bench. While vice-captain Hoang Duc after a good performance in the opening match will continue to support striker Ha Duc Chinh in his highest position in the attacking line. The opener Duc Chinh scored in the match against Brunei U23s somewhat helps fans feel more reassured about his performance in the context that Vietnam U23s do not have a true quality striker. Hopefully, the goal that ended Duc Chinh’s goal drought lasting for 14 months will help the player gain more confidence in the extremely important confrontation against Indonesia U23s.

The match between Vietnam U23s and Indonesia U23s will take place at My Dinh stadium at 8 pm. Before that is the confrontation between Thailand U23s and Brunei U23s at 5 pm.

TRUNG HUNG