Thursday , December 8 2022

National goalie seeks redemption at AFF Cup


Five years after receiving a red card at AFF Cup, goalkeeper Tran Nguyen Manh has been given another chance at the tournament and is determined to redeem himself.

“I’m really happy that coach Park Hang-seo gave me a chance to be in the team. I’m determined to prove myself and gain the trust of fans. There are many challenges ahead. If coach Park keeps giving me opportunities, I will make the most out of them,” Manh said Tuesday.

Keeper Tran Nguyen Manh in a training session on December 7, 2021. Photo by Vietnam Football Federation

Keeper Tran Nguyen Manh in a training session on December 7, 2021. Photo by Vietnam Football Federation

Manh participated in AFF Cup 2014 and 2016, but didn’t make the squad when Vietnam won AFF Cup 2018. In the 2016 semifinals with Indonesia, Manh received a red card after committing a dangerous foul. At the time, Vietnam already used up all of their substitutions and defender Que Ngoc Hai had to be the keeper. The team drew 2-2 against Indonesia in that game but lost 3-4 overall after two legs of the semifinals.

After five years, Manh once again got called up to the squad for AFF Cup, with key keepers like Dang Van Lam and Nguyen Van Toan both injured.

“I was nervous when I got called up for AFF Cup. But after a period of training, I felt more confident. At the moment, I really want to prove myself. I have set a goal to play well game by game and try my best so the team can achieve the desired results,” Manh added.

Manh didn’t have to work much in the game with Laos on Monday as Vietnam dominated most of the time to win 2-0. But he did make a crucial save when going one on one with Laos striker Billy Ketkeophomphone.

“That happened so fast during the game. When he was preparing to finish, I tried to read the situation and made the correct decision. Luck also played a part there,” Manh said.

Vietnam’s next game will be against Malaysia on Dec. 12.

Three days later, they will play Indonesia in a special encounter for Manh.

“I’m looking forward to facing Indonesia again. I will stay focused and find myself again,” he said.

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