Troussier pleased with win, plans for next match

May 09, 2023 - 17:44
Philippe Troussier was excited with Việt Nam's third win at the 32nd SEA Games' Group B, beating nine-man Malaysia 2-1 on May 8 at the Prince Stadium in Phnom Penh.


Philippe Troussier (centre) and his staff comfort players during the 32nd SEA Games men's football Group B match with Malaysia on May 8. Việt Nam won 2-1 to qualify for the semi-finals. VNA/VNS Photos

HÀ NỘI — Philippe Troussier was excited with Việt Nam's third win at the 32nd SEA Games' Group B, a victory over nine-man Malaysia 2-1 on May 8 at the Prince Stadium in Phnom Penh.

The Frenchman hugged his assistants and players tight and kept smiling after the final whistle.

At the post-match conference, he expressed his satisfaction with the team.

"I am pleased with the result of the match and the fighting spirit of Việt Nam players,' he said.

With the win, Việt Nam advanced to the semi-finals with one game in hand while Malaysia was disqualified from the tournament.

"We knew that a win would push us to the semi-finals. It was a strong motivation and also a lot of pressure for the team. In addition, our rival is tough because they had to win to continue with the competition," Troussier said.

He added that the heavy rain strongly influenced Việt Nam's playing style and prevented players from carrying out his tactics. However, they still showed their strength and skill during the game.

Referee Jumpei Iida gives a red card to Muhamad Safwan of Malaysia who punched Vietnamese forward Nguyễn Thanh Nhàn at the 79th minute.

Troussier refused to talk about referee Jumpei Iida's decision to give two red cards to Malaysia. But he admitted that Việt Nam benefited from these decisions. 

Playing with nine men in the last 10 minutes, Malaysia could not do anything to threaten the defending champion.

Việt Nam will next play Thailand on May 11 in a match that will decide the top team of Group B.

"We have our target against Thailand but we also have to maintain our fitness for the semi-finals, which is two days later. The coaches will make up a plan for it," he said.

On the other side, coach Elangowan Elavarasan said the Young Tigers could have reached the SEA Games football final but were affected by several factors including the poor pitch conditions and the heavy rain.

"We targeted the final, so the standard of play against Việt Nam should have been enough to see us through. However, we have to accept the result and not blame anyone, including the referee," Elavarasan said.

"An experienced football person will know that weather will affect any team. It rained, and the pitch conditions affected our game," he said.

Elavarasan admitted his team's inability to find the back of the net regularly was also a contributing factor.

"The players gave their 100 per cent in all of their matches. But goals win you games, not performances," he said.

Malaysia will take on Singapore on May 11 in their final group game before returning home. VNS