|Việt Nam national team manager Park Hang-seo in the press conference after the friendly match with Afghanistan on June 1. Photo VFF|
HCM CITY — Despite a 2-0 win against Afghanistan on Wednesday, Park Hang-seo said he wasn't satisfied with how his team adapted to their new tactics.
In the friendly match at Thống Nhất Stadium, the hosts didn’t disappoint the home crowd with a brace from debutant Phạm Tuấn Hải to seal a win for Việt Nam.
The friendly is in preparation for the AFF Cup at the end of this year and South Korean coach Park used the opportunity to field a number of fresh faces, with debuts for defenders Adriano Schmidt, Nguyễn Văn Vĩ and Đức Chiến and midfielders Trương Văn Thái Quý and Châu Ngọc Quang.
Phạm Tuấn Hải replaced the familiar face of Nguyễn Tiến Linh up front.
The new faces didn’t let their coach down, with a goal in each half for Hải, while Vietnamese-German Schmidt also made his mark with an assist.
However, coach Park wanted more, saying that his team didn’t play as smoothly as expected when switching from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2.
“In the first half, the team played with the familiar back-three formation. In the second half, I switched to four at the back, but it didn't work,” Park said.
“For about 25 minutes, our midfield was overwhelmed and lost the ball constantly. There were worries from my assistants, so we had to return to our familiar gameplay as a safe solution.
“However, I am still happy with my players. Thái Quý and Ngọc Quang were new changes for this match, and they all performed well. Goal keeper Văn Lâm hasn't been back for a long time, while defender Duy Mạnh has just recovered. But overall, I'm satisfied with the players, both new and old faces.”
“This gathering was too short, so we haven't perfected the system with four defenders. But to prepare for the AFF Cup in December, I will give the team more training in this new tactic.”
With a double against Afghanistan, the 24-year-old Tuấn Hải has taken the first steps in following Linh’s footsteps as one of the leading Vietnamese forwards.
Hải could finally solve Park’s reoccurring headache of a lack of quality strikers, but for the Korean manager, two good forwards aren’t enough.
“About other positions, we are quite assured. But Việt Nam still really lacks quality strikers, not only at the national team level but also at the U23 level,” said the 64-year-old Park.
“The reason is known to everyone. Domestic football tournaments tend to use foreign strikers, so Vietnamese forwards have little chance. I think Vietnamese football really needs a plan to solve this problem.”
Despite all the worries, beating their opponents 2-0 surely serves as good preparation for Park’s players ahead of the V.League’s return this June and the upcoming AFF Cup at the end of the year. VNS