Park takes charge, Vietnam look to beat Afghanistan

Park Hang-seo is confident of securing a win for Vietnam in his first match as coach in 2019 Asian Cup qualifier clash against Afghanistan on November 14.

park takes charge, vietnam look to beat afghanistan hinh 0

Speaking at a press conference on November 13 in Hanoi, the Republic of Korea's expert said Vietnam met some difficulties while preparing for the game but would bag three points.

The new coach of Vietnam 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 Vietnam, world No 121, had prepared pretty well for their upcoming game against the world No 154.

“The Vietnam 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 Luong Xuan Truong, who is competing in the Republic of Korea league, and captain Nguyen Van Quyet.

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

“Vietnam 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 Quyet was also present at yesterday’s briefing. He said Vietnam 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,” he said.

On the other hand, German coach Otto Pfister of Afghanistan did not even once contemplate a loss to Vietnam. 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 Vietnam was not special and the only difference was that the head coach of Vietnam 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. Vietnam has for this match included almost the same players as the previous meet, with familiar faces such as Quyen, Truong and striker Nguyen Cong Phuong part of the team.

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

Vietnam just need one point from the match on home soil at My Dinh Stadium to earn a slot at the Cup finals in 2019.


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