|Phan Văn Đức celebrated his goal against Laos in the opening match of the 2021 AFF Suzuki Cup. — Photo courtesy of VFF|
HÀ NỘI — Since scoring against the Philippines in the 2018 AFF Cup, it has taken Phan Văn Đức three years to finally end his goal drought, netting in the 2-0 victory against Laos.
In the opening match of the AFF Suzuki Cup, after Nguyễn Công Phượng’s goal in the first half, Đức made the game safe nine minutes into the second half, heading home an accurate cross from Hồ Tấn Tài.
Not only did the goal seal victory, Đức also contributed with his overall performance, earning him the “Man of the Match” award.
According to football pundit Phan Anh Tú, the former VFF general secretary, the goal helped Đức release tonnes of pressure the Sông Lam Nghệ An player has been feeling in recent times due to his poor performances after a series of injuries in the past few years.
“Đức deserves to be named the best player of the match that day,” Tú said.
“The current Việt Nam national team is really balanced. Every player has completed their tasks well. However, Văn Đức stood out among them thanks to his wide mobility, good defensive support, and he made his mark on the team’s attack.
“Personally, Văn Đức and Công Phượng both deserve the “Man of the match” trophy as Phượng also scored in that match, but overall, his contribution to the team’s game plan was a little bit less than that of Đức.”
After the match, Văn Đức also admitted he's been under a lot of pressure lately, saying that the goal against Laos will help a lot in regaining his best form from three years ago.
“I tried my best to follow the board’s tactics and it finally paid off,” Đức said.
“This goal is also for my son as my wife is pregnant with our second child. I’m really satisfied with my performance in this match.”
Starting the tournament with a goal in the opening match, Văn Đức is expected to help the team defend the title that they won three years ago when Đức was one of the best players of the tournament with two goals and one assist. — VNS