Striker Nguyễn Tiến Linh celebrates his opening goal for Việt Nam team against Indonesia in the World Cup 2022 qualifier held in the UAE on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Linh
HÀ NỘI — Coach Park Hang-seo has warned his players not to rest on their laurels despite a convincing 4-0 win over Indonesia in their 2022 World Cup qualifier late on Monday night in the UAE.
The South Korean coach said despite the win keeping them firmly on top of Group G, it wasn't time for the coaches or players to celebrate.
“We are very happy to beat Indonesia despite their efforts. In the second half, my players played with concentration. I would like to thank my players, but we still have two more games to go and we have to win at least one. We aren’t absorbed by this victory, instead, we will continue to work hard to get three points in the next match against Malaysia,” Park said in a press conference after the game.
“In the previous matches, the Vietnamese team mostly played with a 3-4-3 formation, but in this match, we changed to a 3-5-2 formation. In the first half, we played well. After the break, I asked to focus on attacking the sidelines, instead of hitting the centre and actively shooting from long distance and they did it well, leading to this victory,” Park added.
On striker Nguyễn Tiến Linh's controversial goal in the 51st minute, Park said the referee's decision was a normal thing, so the Việt Nam training staff didn’t complain. The Indonesian players complained that Linh appeared to handle the ball to control it.
Park added that Indonesia's style of play had a tendency for violence, but he didn’t want to say much about how they played or the referee.
“We have to prepare for other matches. Việt Nam need to implement our proposed strategy. We always want to do the best in what we train. I don't want to talk too much about the rivals and just focus on what we are doing well. I think Linh is the best striker in Việt Nam today. Not only Linh, the coaching staff always give the best support to other players to shine. I believe that in the next match, Linh will continue to show his ability,” said Park.
Meanwhile, coach Shin Tae-yong of Indonesia lamented refereeing decisions going against his team and thought the game was even until Linh's goal.
Shin, who coached his native South Korea at the 2018 World Cup, said he had never seen a game change as quickly.
He said the referee contributed to that rapid change and complained that Linh handled the ball before he scored. Shin added that one of his forwards was taken down inside the penalty area moments later but the referee didn't make a reasonable decision.
The referees made Indonesia lose their rhythm, changing the game in a direction they didn’t want, he said.
Indonesia racked up six yellow cards in the match, including one for Shin, with many of them brandished after reckless challenges, but the coach denied he had told his players to play violently.
Shin perhaps his team played with more intensity than usual in a bid to avenge their defeat to Việt Nam in the 2019 SEA Games final.
Praise from politicians
President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc congratulated the Vietnamese national team on their 4-0 victory.
Over the phone, the President sent warm praise and congratulations to the entire Vietnamese team who performed admirably after nearly two years without competing.
Phúc also praised the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF) for preparing the best conditions for the Vietnamese team. He wished that the players would promote the Vietnamese spirit in the next matches to bring the best achievements to the country's football, aiming to make it to the third qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup.
National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ also congratulated the Vietnamese team.
To encourage the whole team, the VFF decided to reward the Vietnamese squad a total of VNĐ1 billion (US$43,500) in bonuses for this win.
Before the match, the Ministry of Health released a statement asking provinces and cities to ensure crowds don't gather to watch the qualifiers to ensure COVID-19 prevention and control.
Việt Nam will next face Malaysia on Friday and the UAE on June 15. — VNS