Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese players have been asked to play with all their energy and spirit against France in the second round match of the FIFA U20 World Cup today in South Korea.
France are one of the title favourites of the tournament. They are on top of Group F after beating Honduras 3-0 in their first match on Monday. Việt Nam share the second position with New Zealand after their goalless match.
“In tomorrow’s match, I want all of you in ready position, physically and mentally. It is a historic chance you have to compete in a World Cup, and you all should be proud and respect every minute here,” said head coach Hoàng Anh Tuấn at their team meeting yesterday.
“What your talent is, what your best is, should all come out in here. Every match in the World Cup will be a great lesson for your career in the future,” he said.
“Play with honour and pride. You should do so with confidence and belief against all rivals ignoring whoever they are. Trust yourselves and set a target to strive for,” he added.
Speaking with reporters, Tuấn said France were a very strong team. Việt Nam could lose that match but they would not let France win as easily as they did against Honduras.
“They are strong but my players will not let them do what they want. We will play with the vanity of winning,” Tuấn said.
The 49-year-old coach had good news prior to the important match as his favourite midfielder Nguyễn Trọng Đại was ready for the game. Đại, Tuấn’s U-19 captain at the Asian Championship last year, was sidelined in the New Zealand match due to a tense ligament.
Skilful midfielder Phan Thanh Hậu was also at his peak and expected to shine today.
With the presence of these players, Tuấn had his strongest line-up that may have more surprises in the World Cup which has saw Argentina’s two losses and England’s draw by Guinea previously.
On the other side, coach Ludovic Betelli of France was also cautious after watching the Southeast Asian team play their first match.
The Frenchman confirmed his team’s target of winning the game but said it would not be easy.
He said Việt Nam were good in attack and they ran back quickly to make a stiff defence. They could create challenges for France.
Betelli said he would use his best players for the match with one or two changes compared to the first match. His players would be focussing all the time because Việt Nam had elements to make a bang.
Betelli said Việt Nam, who should win their first match, had several quality players who were not tall but rapid. Their connection between defence, midfield and forward was good. He was impressed with captain Nguyễn Quang Hải and defender Đoàn Văn Hậu.
The coach who celebrated his 54th birthday anniversary yesterday also said that a huge number of supporters would be an advantage of Việt Nam in that match. He was so surprised to see thousands of fans on the stands on Monday.
The performance of Vietnamese players and supporters was also highlighted by different newspapers and websites. FIFA.com also said about the team on their wall.
It said it was “a red roar in Cheonan”, describing Vietnamese fans that night.
FIFA said, “Stepping out into new territory clearly was an event not to be missed. Every touch by Việt Nam was met by the majority of the 9,400 fans in Cheonan vocally filling the stadium, while renditions of the song Việt Nam, Hồ Chí Minh echoed through the evening air.
“Việt Nam was fully deserving of a historic result,” FIFA said after Việt Nam tied with stronger and experienced New Zealand on Monday.
“In football, 0-0 draws do not always get the greatest press. It is, after all, the scoreline that spectators always hope to avoid when they make their way to a match. But for the 2,000-odd Vietnamese supporters in attendance at Cheonan Sports Complex to witness their heroes take on New Zealand at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea 2017, the goalless stalemate was very much worthy of celebration, despite their 3,000km journey.”
Prior to Group F second match today, FIFA also wrote, “With Việt Nam next to face them, France will be aiming to showcase their impressive firepower and ensure progression to the knockout stage. However, they would be wise not to underestimate their Asian opponents, who left a strong impression in their maiden match on the world stage.”
The match which will be adjudicated by referee Norbert Hauata from Tahiti and will be aired live from Cheonan Baekseok Stadium on VTV6 channel from 3pm Hà Nội time. — VNS