VietNamNet Bridge – Park Hang-seo is confident of securing a win for Viet Nam in his first match as coach in today’s 2019 Asian Cup qualifier clash against Afghanistan.
Vietnamese players train for their Asian Cup qualification match against Afghanistan. — Photo thethaovanhoa.vn
Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Ha Noi, the South Korean expert said Viet Nam met some difficulties while preparing for the game but would bag three points.
The new coach of Viet 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 Viet Nam, world No 121, had prepared pretty well for their upcoming game against the world No 154.
“The Viet 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 Luong Xuan Truong, who is competing in the South Korean 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.
“Viet 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 Quyet was also present at yesterday’s briefing. He said Viet 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 Viet 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 Viet Nam was not special and the only difference was that the head coach of Viet 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. Viet Nam 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, Viet Nam have eight points, the same as leader Jordan, and rank second. Afghanistan have two points and are at the bottom of the group.
Viet Nam just need one point from the match on home soil at My Dinh Stadium to earn a slot at the Cup finals in 2019.