U23 players going right way despite friendly losses: Troussier

March 30, 2023 - 06:40
One bonus for Việt Nam was striker Nguyễn Thanh Nhàn who was voted player of the match.


Forward Nguyễn Văn Trường of Việt Nam against Kyrgyzstan in their last match at the Doha Cup. Việt Nam lost 5-4 in penalties. Photo courtesy of VFF

HÀ NỘI — Philippe Troussier believes his U23 team are heading in the right ahead of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games despite losing all three games at the Doha Cup.

The tournament ending in Qatar with a 5-4 penalty shoot-out loss to Kyrgyzstan after the two sides failed to find the net in 90 minutes.

Troussier said was pleased with the Vietnamese players’ performance in the 10-side tournament where they faced with stronger rivals.

He said he saw great effort from the squad to take on to the pitch what they had practiced in training.

In the penalty shoot-out, only Quốc Việt failed to find the back of the net. 

One bonus for Việt Nam was striker Nguyễn Thanh Nhàn who was voted player of the match.

“I think that we met the coaches' demand in this match although we did control the ball well and applied our tactics like we did in training," said Nhàn.

"We could not beat Kyrgyzstan on penalties but the Doha Cup is just a warm-up for Việt Nam's gold medal target at the 32nd SEA Games. We will work harder for this competition."

It was the third defeat of the team at the March 23-28 event. Earlier, they lost 3-0 to Iraq and 4-0 to the UAE.

The results left Việt Nam bottom of the ranking.

Philippe Troussier and his players after their third loss at the Doha Cup. — Photo courtesy of VFF

After the match, new coach Troussier said: "Honestly, I feel regret and disappointment about the result. We suffered an unlucky loss in the penalty shootout.

"I saw how the players played and they tried their best in the whole match. Việt Nam had several opportunities but could not convert any into a goal.  am glad with what they did on the field, applying what they were told into the game.

"From here, I want to see their progress in either personal technique or the unity between each member and the playing style of the team."

Troussier said there would be different opinions about Việt Nam's performance but the Doha Cup was only the first step in his team's preparation for their SEA Games campaign.

"We return to Hà Nội with a full briefcase of information and references about my players and experiences for future tournament," said Troussier who has been in charge of Việt Nam squads for almost two months. 

Players will be back to their clubs and take part in the national leagues. The French tactician hoped that they would be allowed to play regularly so they could improve their, maintaining their peak before the second meet in the next three weeks.

The squad will gather on April 19 and train before flying to Cambodia to start their SEA Games title defending journey.

Although officially the tournament will be held from May 5-17, football will begin on April 29. VNS