U23 Việt Nam players practise for a friendly against Myanmar on June 7 in Phú Thọ Province's Việt Trì Stadium. — Photo vietbao.vn
HÀ NỘI — Myanmar coach Velizar Popov said Việt Nam were the favourites for the Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines this November.
The Bulgarian praised Việt Nam at a press briefing ahead of a friendly between the Việt Nam and Myanmar U23 teams at Việt Trì Stadium in Phú Thọ Province today.
Popov said he had researched and watched clips of Việt Nam’s football. Despite there being other strong teams such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, he personally considered Việt Nam the best in the region.
He said his Myanmar team must overcome this match if they wanted to progress at the SEA Games. The friendly would a good chance for him and the team to gauge if they were in a position to vie for a medal at the biennial sporting event.
However, the 43-year-old did not reveal much about his team, saying football was a team sport so it was difficult to single out certain players. It was better for them to show what they had on the pitch.
Myanmar captain Win Naing Tun also attended the briefing, and praised Việt Nam midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải and defender Đoàn Văn Hậu and said he regretted they would not be taking part in the friendly because they were with the national team at the King’s Cup in Thailand.
On the host side, coach Nguyễn Văn Đàn said the match would be interesting because it was a chance for them to show their ability apart from their thirst for victory.
“It might be a friendly, but both two sides are determined as it is a key warm-up for the SEA Games. Việt Nam have prepared well for this match and we are ready to play a good game and please our supporters,” Đàn said.
Goalkeeper Bùi Tiến Dũng said he was happy to be named captain of the team and hoped he would be given a chance to compete.
“We will follow game plan together for a good result,” he said.
The game will kick off at 8pm and will be aired live on VTC News. — VNS