Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s Asian Games football squad take on Palestine today, and coach Park Hang-seo has his eyes fixed on victory.
Park was speaking at a pre-match press conference on Thursday in Hà Nội ahead of the first match of the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF) U23 International Championship - Vinaphone Cup 2018.
“Following the AFC U23 Championship held in China in January in which Việt Nam were the runners-up for the first time in history, we received good feelings of Vietnamese fans. But I need to say that the upcoming friendly event is a chance for us to select players and raise our tactics. However, we won’t disregard it and don’t think that this event is to enjoy ourselves. A coach in Việt Nam or South Korea has pressure. It’s normal so I won’t worry much. We will try our best to win,” said South Korean coach Park.
This friendly event is the preparation for the Vietnamese team ahead of the Asian Games (ASIAD) 18 in Indonesia, with the men’s football set to kick off on August 14 and finish on September 1.
To prepare for the Vinaphone Cup, Park chose 30 players and he plans to use all of them in the event to be held at Mỹ Đình National Stadium.
“After the friendly event concludes, I will announce the official line-up for the ASIAD,” said Park.
“I will use all 30 players in the cup. They will have a chance to show their skills and desire to dedicate to their team. This is a very important event to help Việt Nam prepare better for the ASIAD,” Park added.
Before the event began, defender Nguyễn Phong Hồng Duy and midfielder Phạm Xuân Mạnh of Sông Lam Nghệ An suffered injuries but they have recovered well.
“Duy has recovered his injury of thigh muscle well so Duy’s chance to go to ASIAD hasn’t closed. Maybe, he won’t compete with Palestine today but he can play in the match with Oman on Sunday. While Mạnh’s ankle is swollen. He can convene with his teammates but I let him train alone to avoid suffering badly,” said Park.
Meanwhile, 20 members of Palestine’s U23 side came to Hà Nội on Wednesday and trained in the Hà Nội-based National Youth Football Training Centre on the same day.
In the friendly match to prepare for the AFC U23 Championship early this year, Việt Nam drew with Palestine 1-1.
“We are not only to determined to beat Việt Nam but we also aim to gain a high result in this cup to create a driving force for the Asian event,” said Islam Masharqa, manager of Palestine.
“We have convened for more than one month so it is so wonderful when we are invited to play in a friendly event in Southeast Asia where the ASIAD will take place,” said coach Ayman Sandouqa of Palestine.
Earlier, due to a mistake of ASIAD’s organsing board, Palestinian and the United Arab Emirates teams missed out on the original draw.
Sandouqa said they met difficulties in preparation for the Asian event because of the organsing board’s error. However, they are still confident they will play well.
After the match with Palestine, Việt Nam will next face Oman on Sunday and then Uzbekistan next Tuesday. All matches will take place at 7.30pm (Hà Nội time).
The Vinaphone Cup draws four Asian teams in Việt Nam, Uzbekistan, Oman and Palestine. The teams will each play eacv other once. The team with the most points will receive US$20,000 in cash, while the runner-up will get $10,000 and third place $5,000. — VNS