|International U-21 Football Tournament
HA NOI (VNS) — It is a must-win situation for Myanmar in today's match against Hoang Anh Gia Lai for them to enter the semi-finals of the International U-21 Football Tournament in HCM City.
Both sides lost their first match in Group B to the South Korean U-19 team, who is this year's title favourite.
They do not have any point yet but Hoang Anh Gia Lai stand higher in the ranking due to the goal difference.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai just need a draw to go on, while Myanmar's coach Eric Williams has asked his players to go for a win over the defending champions.
He said his young players have a few days of training and some friendlies ahead of the tournament, but they performed pretty well.
A 0-2 loss to South Korea was unexpected and it pushed his team in difficulty when playing with Hoang Anh Gia Lai in the last group round match.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai not only had strong fan support but also more rest than Myanmar, Williams said, but his players would try their best to win.
Myanmar is home to two players who took part in the recent World U-20 Cup, while Htike Aung and Shine Thu Ya are their raising stars.
Watching Hoang Anh Gia Lai's 0-1 loss to South Korea, Williams saw the local team's pros and cons.
He said the team had a good combination and understanding but their low speed and poor physique limited their attacking power.
The Australian appreciated three Hoang Anh Gia Lai players, Nguyen Cong Phuong, Luong Xuan Truong and Nguyen Tuan Anh, who are all the nation's most loved footballers.
On the other side, coach Nguyen Quoc Tuan welcomed back midfielder Nguyen Phong Hong Duy, who is ready to play after being replaced early in the last match because of an injury.
Duy, whose nickname is ‘Flash of Lightning' is expected to strengthen Viet Nam's attacks from two wings, according to coach Tuan.
Tuan said, "It is not true that there is no pressure on my team ahead of the decisive match, but I am confident of my team's chances."
Tuan admitted that his defenders' lack of focus and poor finishing skills were the main reasons for their loss to South Korea.
These were two issues that Tuan and his assistants tried to correct in the last two days.
The match is at 6pm and will be aired live on VTV6 channel. Earlier in Group A, Viet Nam, who qualified for the next round, will play Singapore. The winners will top the group. — VNS