Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo satisfied with UAE draw

Saturday, 2020-01-11 10:10:22
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Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo.
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NDO – Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo said he was satisfied with the players’ efforts in earning a draw against the United Arab Emirates (UAE), possibly their toughest rivals in the group stage of the ongoing 2020 AFC U23 Championship in Thailand.

>>> Vietnam, UAE play out a goalless draw in AFC U23 opener

The two teams joined together to produce a dynamic Group D opening clash at the Buriram Stadium on January 10, clearly showing why their encounter had been named by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as one of the five must-see group-stage fixtures.

Several opportunities were created throughout the match, but neither side could convert any of them into a goal, and were forced to settle for a goalless draw.

“Ahead of the clash, I had told my players that it would be an extremely tough game, and the reality proved true. It was the first match of a big tournament, and pressure was inevitable. So, getting a point could be considered a satisfactory result. I would like to thank the players for their efforts,” Park told reporters after the match.

Explaining his selection of goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung instead of Van Toan as in Vietnam’s recent matches, the tactician said: “I chose Tien Dung because he performed well and always showed his desire during training sessions. Furthermore, Tien Dung is also more internationally experienced. He was once the first choice at the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup, the 2018 AFC U23 Championship and the 2019 Asian Games.”

Park also gave words of praise to centre back Bui Hoang Viet Anh, who was forced to play in midfield in replacement of suspended Ho Tan Tai (who had received two yellow cards in the qualification tournament). “Viet Anh’s forte lies in the centre back role, and he has just started getting familiar with the left midfield in the last few days. But today, he played well. I’m pleased with his display.”

The Republic of Korea tactician was also happy with the return of centre back Tran Dinh Trong, who played quite well for 40 minutes after coming off the bench. Trong’s comeback will offer Park more choices in arranging tactics for Vietnam U23s in the remaining group matches.

Today (January 11), Vietnam U23s have a training session in the morning and will relax in the afternoon. In preparation for their next Group D game against Jordan, Park and his assistants stayed at Buriram Stadium to watch the Jordan-DPR Korea clash that took place later on Friday.

Jordan edged past the DPR Korea 2-1 to temporarily lead the group with three points, followed by Vietnam and the UAE with one each.

Vietnam will meet Jordan next, on January 13, while the UAE take on the DPR Korea on the same day.