Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam coach Nguyễn Hữu Thắng did not blame his players, but encouraged them to try harder after their 2-1 defeat to Indonesia in the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final at Stadion Pakansari on Saturday.
From a different perspective, he noted that he was satisfied with the team’s performance.
“We lost, but my players showed their true style of play today, and that made me happy,” said Thắng at the post-match conference.
“We showed mental toughness and competed very well on the field. I think a draw would have been a fair result, but it wasn’t to be.”
It was the first loss for Việt Nam at this Cup, after their three successive wins in the group stage.
“We still have a match at home, so we still have a big chance,” he added.
“I was not surprised by the strength of Indonesia, because such enthusiastic fans makes them stronger. I am not happy they scored from a penalty; however, I believe in my players.”
The former national captain congratulated Indonesia for their win, and also said Việt Nam would play differently against their arch-rivals at the second-leg match on Wednesday.
“I was not surprised by the strength of Indonesia, because such enthusiastic fans makes them stronger. But the one away goal can be to our advantage when we play in Hà Nội. The result was difficult to take, but we are confident we can win.”
The Indonesians, backed by over 30,000 fans, including the country’s President Jokowi, had a dream start when Hansamu Yama Pranata scored with a header in the sixth minute.
Nguyễn Văn Quyết equalised from the spot at 17 minutes, but a Boas Salossa penalty five minutes after the restart won the tie for the Garudas.
In another semi-final first-leg game yesterday Thailand beat co-hosts Myanmar 2-0 at the Thuwunna Stadium, Yangon.
Teerasil Dangda scored a brace for Thailand with goals in the 23rd and 55th minutes to put his side in a strong position ahead of the second leg match, which will take place on December 8 at Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok. — VNS