|Vietnamese players celebrate the second goal of their 3-1 win over Singapore at the 32nd SEA Games' on May 3 in Phnom Penh. VNA/VNS Photos|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam secured their second win at the 32nd SEA Games on April 3, propelling them to the top of Group B, though coach Philippe Troussier believes the best is yet to come from his young side.
Their 3-1 triumph over Singapore at the Prince Stadium in Phnom Penh was thanks to the efforts of Nguyễn Văn Tùng and Nguyễn Thái Sơn for Việt Nam, while Mohamed Ilhan of Singapore and Vũ Tiến Long of Vietnam each contributed an own goal to the final score.
Coach Troussier expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance, commending their ability to execute their plans and work together cohesively and effectively.
He noted that Việt Nam could have secured an even greater lead over Singapore with even better finishing skills.
The French coach said despite winning three points and showing better form, players should try harder in the next matches because Malaysia and Thailand were much stronger, and they are the main rivals in advancing from the group stage.
"I want my players to be braver," said Troussier. "They should proactively manage the ball and carry out our tactical plan."
"They have only trained our new football style for two months, so it is difficult to avoid mistakes. They have gradually understood our way. Players are more confident playing with the ball. Of course, there will have mistakes, but they will be better with time. And they should show off more of their personal abilities.
"The most important target is the championship title. We have to win every match. Today, we reached our target."
Singapore Coach Philippe Aw said he wanted to cause an upset against Việt Nam, but his plan failed.
"I made changes in the defence, which was expected to create high pressure on the Vietnamese side," said Aw. "We made several chances and played well in the first 30 minutes. But Việt Nam were stronger and deserved the win."
He applauded his players, who did not give up.
Aw said Singapore still had a chance to go further, although it was their second defeat. He said Laos and Malaysia will face a tough challenge if they want to take points from Singapore.
Women's team must do more
Also on May 3, Việt Nam beat Malaysia 3-0 in the first match of the women's Group A, but coach Mai Đức Chung still urged players to work harder.
|Striker Huỳnh Như of Việt Nam (centre) is expected to find her best form in the next SEA games.|
Phạm Hải Yến and Nguyễn Bích Thùy scored for Việt Nam, while Malaysian Jaciah Jumlis scored an own goal.
"Honestly, it is not a good game of Việt Nam. Players, including captain Huỳnh Như, missed many opportunities," said Chung. "If they could convert them into goals, everything would be much better."
However, the 71-year-old tactician said his best scorer Như poor performance was due to the difference in weather and temperature.
"Như is familiar with the cool weather in Europe as she plays in Portugal. Flying here, she suffers from high heat and humidity. She has not adapted yet. It is a pity that she wasted her chance, but I hope she will get used to it soon and find her peak."
Chung confirmed that it was not his strongest team at the SEA Games. He chooses different line-ups and tactics for different rivals, but all were to grab three points from each match while receiving no booking or injuries.
He added that in the next two days, Việt Nam would solve all problems before a meeting with Myanmar on May 6.
Conversely, coach Soleen Al-Zoubi praised her players' strong spirit despite a big loss.
"We predicted difficulties when playing a World Cup participating team, an experienced Việt Nam," said Al-Zoubi. "Malaysia, with many young players who lack of international experience, showed commendable spirit. "
"I asked them to play in defence and limit the number of goals conceded. Unfortunately, we conceded goals in the first half due to personal mistakes. Players were psychologically tense for the first 50 minutes.
"Things improved in the second half when we prevented Việt Nam from scoring more goals. If we had played with such confidence from the beginning, we wouldn't have conceded a goal."
Việt Nam are on top of the group, followed by Myanmar, who beat Southeast Asian champion Philippines 1-0 in the later match on May 3. Bottom-placed Malaysia will face the Philippines, who are third. VNS