Vietnam created a number of clear-cut chances to score throughout the 90 minutes of play, one of which was successfully converted into the solitary goal of the match by midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai with a brilliant volley from close range.
“I would like to thank the players for their utmost efforts. As the head coach, I am proud to lead the Vietnamese team,” said Park at the post-match press conference.
Malaysia are stronger now than they were at the 2018 AFF Cup, he said, noting that Vietnamese players followed exactly the tactics set by the coaching staff.
“Malaysia have become stronger with the presence of some naturalised players. Compared with the previous match against Indonesia, they had to use three substitutions. Despite a narrow 1-0 win, I am satisfied because my players strictly complied with the set tactics”.
Commenting on Cong Phuong and Van Hau, who are playing in Europe, Park said: “Van Hau and Cong Phuong are playing in the Dutch and Belgian national championships, which are both high-level tournaments. That is evidence of their capabilities. Not every player performs well in all matches. What I expect is that the players follow the set tactics, and they did it”.
Malaysia’s assistant coach Balachandran at the press conference. (Photo: NDO/Tran Hai)
Malaysia coach Tan Cheng Hoe did not attend the press conference after their bitter defeat against Vietnam. Instead, assistant coach Balachandran represented the team to answer the reporters’ questions.
“I would like to congratulate Vietnam on their 1-0 triumph. We possessed the first opportunities and played well, but we failed to capitalise on any of them,” he said.
Balachandran stated that Vietnam played overwhelmingly and created a lot of difficulties for Malaysian players.
“I admit that we made some defensive mistakes. The match took place with great tension because Vietnam produced an overwhelming game”.
Vietnamese players celebrate opening the scoring against Malaysia during their Group G match on October 10. (Photo: VFF)
Vietnam are now ranked third in Group G, with four points, behind Thailand (better goal difference) and the United Arab Emirates, who thrashed Indonesia 5-0 later on Thursday to lead the group with six points.
Shortly after the match with Malaysia concluded, the Vietnamese team received an encouragement bonus of VND1 billion (US$43,000) from the Vietnam Football Federation.
Early this morning (Oct. 11), Park Hang-seo and his players arrived in Ho Chi Minh City to take a flight to Bali in preparation for the next Group G clash against hosts Indonesia, scheduled on Oct. 15.