Coach Park Hang-seo: “The secret to winning the SEA Games is Vietnamese spirit”

Tuesday, 2019-12-10 23:48:22
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Coach Park Hang-seo affirms that the secret for Vietnam U22s to win their first ever gold medal at the SEA Games is the Vietnamese spirit.
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NDO – Coach Park Hang-seo did not hide his happiness at helping Vietnam U22s win their first ever gold medal for men’s soccer in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games after 60 years. The Korean strategist revealed that the secret to making Vietnam U22s successful is the Vietnamese fighting spirit.

>>> Vietnam beat Indonesia 3-0 to claim historic SEA Games gold medal

>>> [Photos] Vietnamese players celebrate historic SEA Games title with joy

In the final match at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, the Philippines, on Tuesday night, Vietnam, with a suitable strategy, defeated Indonesia U22s 3-0 to clinch their first ever SEA Games gold medal. A goal by captain Do Hung Dung and a brace by defender Doan Van Hau helped the "Golden Stars" to be crowned champions convincingly.

“First of all, I would like to give this victory to the people of Vietnam, those who love Vietnamese football, the Vietnam Football Federation and all the clubs. To be honest, I also want to give this victory not only to the players but also to members of the coaching staff and other supporters who are always there to assist the whole team,” Park shared with the media after leading his side to their first ever SEA Games gold medal in men’s football.

Vietnam had a convincing 3-0 victory to claim the No. 1 position at the largest regional multi-sports event. However, after the victory, the Korean strategist said he is currently considering the injuries of his players. “Now I am thinking about my players. We have injuries from Quang Hai, Trong Hung and Thanh Thinh. I cannot imagine how the whole team overcame difficulties, overcame such hard fixtures, to claim an impressive victory and win the SEA Games gold medal,” said Park.

He also revealed that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc encouraged him before the final. He said: “During the meeting with my players before we got on the bus, I conveyed the message from Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to the team, saying that behind us there are tens of millions of Vietnamese people waiting. Thankfully today we have had a well-deserved victory.”

When being asked about the secret to Vietnam U22s’ success in this tournament, the Korean coach concisely stated: "That is the spirit of Vietnam."

Park did not forget to thank the team’s predecessors for laying the basis for Vietnam U22s to have such a victory today. He expressed: “When I was appointed to the position as head coach of the Vietnam team, I had dreams of winning the top title in Southeast Asia and also the gold medal in the SEA Games with Vietnam. This is the dream that we have achieved after 60 years. In fact, this victory is on the merit of the predecessors and the seniors who have accumulated to this day.”

Coach Park and his players have achieved a historic victory at the 2019 SEA Games.

“After this tournament, the whole team still has a lot of work to do. In the near future we will go to train in the Republic of Korea to prepare for the 2020 AFC Championship in the beginning of next year,” Park revealed.

Regarding the difficulties at the SEA Games this time, the Korean coach said: "My biggest worry is the injury of the players. Luckily no one has serious problems."

Park was shown a red card in the late stage of the second half when trying to protect his player following a foul by the Indonesian side. Regarding the red card, the 1959-born said: "I'm sorry for the red card. I should have had more restraint and remained calm. Vietnam won, but I still want to say sorry to everyone."

With this red card, Park was not allowed to attend the post-match press brief. His assistant, Lee Young-jin, was present at the press room to replace Park. Lee said: "We were fully prepared for the meeting with Indonesia. We broke their defensive system to score three goals."

Park's first assistant said the coaching staff had discussed about Vietnam's football development plan before entering the SEA Games final against Indonesia. "We have discussed plans to prepare for the big tournaments. We will help develop Vietnamese football further," Lee affirmed.

"Before the opportunity to make history for Vietnam after 60 years, coach Park reminded all players not to pressure themselves, just to play with 100% confidence and to trust in their teammates, while always remembering that there are millions of fans behind them," the Korean assistant revealed.

For the near future, Lee said that immediately after the 2019 SEA Games, Vietnam U22s will have a training camp in the Republic of Korea to prepare for the AFC U23 Championship in Thailand in January next year.

Meanwhile, coach Indra Sjafri of Indonesia U22s congratulated Vietnam after the victory. He said: “First, I congratulate Vietnam for the win. We played better than the match in the group stage, but conceded two goals from dead ball situations."

"This was not our best performance yet. My players played very well in the semi-finals. We are looking forward to a process, not just to this final. However, we still hoped that we would be the winners after 28 years of waiting," said the Indonesian coach.

"This is the final and there are only two options, win or lose. We played very openly from the beginning but unfortunately the two dead balls caused everything to collapse. I know it's hard to turn things around once we let Vietnam take the lead," admitted Sjafri.

TRUNG HUNG - Photo: NDO/Minh Phu - From Manila, the Philippines