|Vietnamese players train in HCM City for their frienly match against Malaysia on February 7. — Photo khampha.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s U23 squad -- which is practicing for a friendly match against Malaysia next week -- has players with great skill, coach Nguyễn Hữu Thắng said.
“They are talented players. Their performances have exceeded expectations for players of their age,” said Thắng, after the second day of training in HCM City yesterday.
These players are good enough to represent Việt Nam at the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Malaysia in August, he said.
On the team’s preparations for the friendly against Malaysia, Thắng said it had several days to train for the match, and he hoped to impart tactics and playing style that could be carried out successfully during the game.
“We head to every match with the aim of winning. However, I hope my players will also win the people’s heart and belief with their beautiful and effective performance,” said the 42-year-old, adding that Việt Nam would combine their style by striking a balance between attack and defence.
Yestersday, Malaysia sent their list of 18 players who will arrive in Việt Nam tomorrow.
Coach Frank Bernhardt’s team includes many members who will also play in the SEA Games that will be held on their home turf.
Prominent among them is the Australian-born right-wing defender Mathew Thomas Davies who plays for Pahang FA club.
Davies was voted the best young player last season in the domestic league. He was a member of the Australian U-19 team before he decided to switch allegiance to become a Malaysian.
At the age of 21, he is the youngest player to ever captain a club.
Another player to watch out for is Muhammad Danial Ashraf Abdullah who plays in the midfield and forward position.
Abdullah was part of the Kelantan FA’s U21 squad which won the Malaysia President’s Cup 2016, and was the highest scorer that season with 19 goals. He was picked for the senior team for the 2017 season.
Defender Adam Nor Azlin and striker Kumaahran Sathasiwam are also notable players.
Speaking on the official website of the Football Association of Malaysia, Bernhardt said his team needed to improve their speed and attack more. He hoped his players could do as he willed against Việt Nam.
The friendly will be organised on February 7 at the Thống Nhất Stadium. Tickets are available at prices ranging from VNĐ50,000 to VND150,000 (US$2.5-$7.5). — VNS