|Midfielder Nguyễn Đình Bắc (No 15) celebrates after opening the score for Việt Nam in the match against Singapore. — Photo courtesy of vietnamplus.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Coach Philippe Troussier was unhappy after the Vietnamese U23 team drew 2-2 with Singapore in the final match in Group C of the AFC U23 Asian Cup 2024 Qualifiers.
The match took place at Việt Trì Stadium in Phú Thọ Province on Tuesday evening.
Việt Nam took no time to dominate the game won an early penalty in the 12th minute when Bùi Vĩ Hào was fouled by goalkeeper Aizil Yazid. From the spot, Nguyễn Đình Bắc opened the scoring for Việt Nam.
In the remaining time of the first half, Singapore couldn’t get the ball on the other side of the field as Việt Nam cornered them with great pressure but couldn’t score more.
However, the lapses in concentration by the Vietnamese players allowed Singapore to equalise in the 58th minute. Nguyễn Hữu Nam tried to clear the ball with a header, but it hit Hồng Phúc and turned into an own net.
Singapore became more confident after the equaliser and they threatened Việt Nam’s goal a few times. But the next goal went to Việt Nam. In the 76th minute, capitalising on a pass by Văn Đô, Nam found the back of the net to make it 2-1.
In the 85th minute, a counter-attack put Chua Vasileios on the left flank and he easily equalised again for Singapore.
During the post-match press conference, the coach expressed his disappointment with the draw and stated that U23 Việt Nam deserved a victory.
"Our objective was not to settle for a draw from the outset," he said.
"Considering factors such as ball possession and finishing, Việt Nam deserved to win. However, the players' determination waned after achieving the early goal.
"Despite fielding all players, this match serves as a valuable lesson for Việt Nam, highlighting that ball possession alone does not guarantee scoring. It is also a personal lesson for me, emphasising the need for players to exhibit precision in critical moments when granted more freedom and comfort."
Although Việt Nam did not possess superior physical strength compared to Singapore, they managed to score a goal from Hữu Nam.
Troussier acknowledged this as a testament to the strength of Vietnamese football, which has been systematically developed through the national championship.
He added: "Regarding fixed situations, Vietnamese football excels in this aspect. My aim is to strike a balance between goals scored from set-pieces and open play. This observation stems from the prevailing trends in the V.League 1, where goals often arise from set-pieces.
"I am committed to continual improvement, enabling players to score more goals from open play and reach the standards of continental football," Troussier added.
Following three qualifying matches, Việt Nam topped Group C with two wins and one draw and have qualified for the final round of the AFC U23 Asian Cup 2024. — VNS