Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
During the final match at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, the Philippines on Tuesday night, Vietnam, with a suitable strategy, defeated Indonesia U22s 3-0 to clinch their first ever SEA Games gold medal. A goal by captain Do Hung Dung and a brace by defender Doan Van Hau helped the “Golden Stars” to be crowned champions convincingly.
“First of all, I would like to give this victory to the people of Vietnam, those who love Vietnamese football, the Vietnam Football Federation and all the clubs. To be honest, I also want to give this victory not only to the players but also to members of the coaching staff and other supporters who are always assist the whole team,” Park shared with the media after leading his side to the first ever SEA Games gold medal in men’s football.
Vietnam had a convincing 3-0 victory to claim the No. 1 position at the regional largest multi-sports event. However, after the victory, the Korean strategist said he thought of the injuries of his players. “Now I am thinking about my players. We have injuries from Quang Hai, Trong Hung and Thanh Thinh. I cannot imagine that the whole team overcame difficulties, overcame such hard fixture to make an impressive victory and win the SEA Games gold medal,” said Park.
He also revealed that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc encouraged him before the final. He said: “Before we got on the bus, during the meeting with my players, I conveyed the message from Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to the team, saying that behind us there are tens of millions of Vietnamese people waiting. Thankfully today we have had a well-deserved victory.”
When being asked about the secret to making U22 Vietnam success in this tournament, the Korean coach concisely stated: “That is the spirit of Vietnam.”
Park did not forget to thank the predecessors for laying the basis for Vietnam U22s to have such a victory today. He expressed: “When I was appointed to the position of the head coach of Vietnam team, I had dreams of winning the top title with Vietnam in the Southeast Asia and also the gold medal in SEA Games. This is the dream that we have achieved after 60 years. In fact, this victory is the merits of the predecessors and the seniors who have accumulated to this day.”
Coach Park and his players have achieved a historic victory at the 2019 SEA Games.
“After this tournament, the whole team still has a lot of work to do. In the near future, we will go on training in the Republic of Korea to prepare for the 2020 AFC Championship in the beginning of next year,” Park revealed.
Regarding the difficulties at the SEA Games this time, the Korean coach said: “My biggest worry is the injury of the players. Luckily no one have serious problems.”
Park was showed with a red card in the late stage of the second half when trying to protect his player after being fouled by Indonesian side. Regarding the red card, the 1959-born said: “I’m sorry for the red card. I should have had more restraint and kept calm. Vietnam won, but I still want to say sorry to everyone.”
With this red card, Park was not allowed to attend the post-match press brief. His assistant, Lee Young-jin, was present at the press room to replace Park. Lee said: “Everything was prepared to meet Indonesia. We broke their defensive system to score three goals.”
Park’s first assistant said the coaching staff had discussed about Vietnam’s football development plan before entering the SEA Games final against Indonesia. “We have discussed about plans to prepare for the big tournaments. We will help develop Vietnamese football further,” Lee affirmed.
“Before the opportunity to make history for Vietnam after 60 years, coach Park reminded all players not to pressure themselves, just play with 100% confidence and trust in teammates, while always thinking that there are millions of fans behind them,” the Korean assistant revealed.
For the near future plan, Lee said that immediately after the 2019 SEA Games, Vietnam U22s will have a training camp in the Republic of Korea to prepare for the AFC U23 Championship in Thailand in January next year.
Meanwhile, coach Indra Sjafri of Indonesia U22s congratulated Vietnam after the victory. He said: “First, I congratulate Vietnam for the win. We played better than the match in the group stage, but conceded two goals from dead ball situations.”
“This is not our best performance yet. My players played very well in the semi-finals. We are looking forward to a process, not just this final. However, we still hope that we were winners after 28 years of waiting,” said the Indonesian coach.
“This is the final and there are only two options, win or lose. We played very openly from the beginning but unfortunately the two dead balls made everything collapse. I know it’s hard to turn around when we let Vietnam take the lead,” admitted Sjafri.