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Park takes charge, VN look to beat Afghanistan

Update: November, 14/2017 - 09:00
Vietnamese players train for their Asian Cup qualification match against Afghanistan. — Photo
Viet Nam News


HÀ NỘI — Park Hang-seo is confident of securing a win for Việt Nam in his first match as coach in today’s 2019 Asian Cup qualifier clash against Afghanistan.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Hà Nội, the South Korean expert said Việt Nam met some difficulties while preparing for the game but would bag three points.

The new coach of Việt Nam said through an interpreter that the short training duration and some players joining their teammates late due to their club schedule were some of the challenges faced by his squad.

However Việt Nam, world No 121, had prepared pretty well for their upcoming game against the world No 154.

“The Việt Nam Football Federation has confirmed the importance of the game but did not tell me it is a must-win match. But to me a victory is always the goal of every game and I have this belief we will win tomorrow,” Park said.

Park, former assistant of Guus Hiddink at the 2002 World Cup, refused to reveal his starting line-up but said he had put his faith in midfielder Lương Xuân Trường, who is competing in the South Korean league, and captain Nguyễn Văn Quyết.

He said the duo would take upon themselves the responsibility to connect all members as well as deliver his messages during the game.

“Việt Nam are in the top 120 and Afghanistan in the top 150, but it is fair to say the players are at the same level. What I hope from my men is that they strictly follow the tactics we had practiced during the game, besides having ready spirit and determination.”

Captain Quyết was also present at yesterday’s briefing. He said Việt Nam had gathered the best players at present and the entire team believed they could defeat Afghanistan. 

“We are fluent with the exercises that Park made us do during our training. Hope we can make it work to achieve the best result tomorrow,” he said.

On the other hand, German coach Otto Pfister of Afghanistan did not even once contemplate a loss to Việt Nam. He also made it clear he did not think much of his rival, noting the 1-1 draw between the two teams during the first leg match in March.

He said an encounter with Việt Nam was not special and the only difference was that the head coach of Việt Nam had changed. Every coach had his own football philosophy while training, but it was the quality of the players that made the difference, he believed. Việt Nam has for this match included almost the same players as the previous meet, with familiar faces such as Quyến, Trường and striker Nguyễn Công Phượng part of the team.

In Group C, Việt Nam have eight points, the same as leader Jordan, and rank second. Afghanistan have two points and are at the bottom of the group.

Việt Nam just need one point from the match on home soil at Mỹ Đình Stadium to earn a slot at the Cup finals in 2019. — VNS


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