Việt Nam set records but coach asks for more

April 18, 2024 - 16:47
It was the fifth time that Việt Nam have taken part in the continental competition, but the first time they won their opening game.


Vietnamese players celebrate their 3-1 win over Kuwait in Group D of the AFC Asian U23 Cup on April 17 in Doha, Qatar. — Photos courtesy of VFF

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam set two firsts in their opening 3-1 win against Kuwait in the AFC Asian U23 Cup, but coach Hoàng Anh Tuấn said he still wants more from his young squad.

Bùi Vỹ Hào scored twice in the second half after Nguyễn Văn Tùng opened the scoring in first half stoppage time.

Kuwait equalised through Salman Mohammed from the penalty spot in the dying seconds of the first half.

Both sides had a player sent off in the first 45 minutes.

It was the fifth time that Việt Nam have taken part in the continental competition, but the first time they won their opening game.

It was also the first time they scored three goals in the opening match, which has put them top of Group D.

At the post-match briefing coach Tuấn said although he was satisfied with the score, he wasn't happy with the performance.

"I am only happy with the result and not the performance, especially in the first half because of the red card," he said.

"The performance didn’t match our training sessions. In the first half, the players were nervous and tense so they could not show their best. The red card just before halftime showed a lapse in our mental discipline. I'm very sorry about that, I don't want to see it happen again."

The manager thought Kuwait didn't trouble his team too much, but overall he felt they need to replicate training methods more in actual matches, particularly in the first half.

Striker Hồ Quang Minh of Việt Nam (left) in action during the match.

"In the second half we were more proactive and closer to our real strength," he said.

"I've only been in charge a little more than 10 days so it would be difficult to make changes immediately. But my team's improvement will be clear in the next matches.”

Tuấn refused to talk about the next game against Malaysia on April 20.

“I refuse to answer this question because it is about our technical aspects. I can only say that the next match will strongly decide if Việt Nam reach the quarter-finals and of course we need the best result," he said.

Kuwait coach Emilio Peixe cited fatigue and inexperience as the factors behind his side’s below par performance in the second half, but admitted Việt Nam were stronger and better throughout.

The Portuguese coach said Việt Nam showed their superiority in terms of ability and careful preparation. While Vietnamese players were really energetic, Kuwaitis appeared tired, he said, believing Việt Nam had worked hard on their physical fitness.

"We didn’t have a good second half because I felt the players were a little tired, but this kind of thing can happen as our players don’t have much experience in this kind of a tournament,” said Peixe.

"We need to develop mentally and physically. We know where we are at this moment. We competed against a team like Việt Nam, who have reached the final before."

Peixe said despite a big defeat, his players had potential but they must try harder against Uzbekistan and Malaysia. — VNS