After the 2-0 win against Malaysia on Wednesday night, Vietnam have advanced to the quarterfinals of U23 Asian Cup, coach Gong Oh-kyun gave all the praises to the team.
“Vietnam have won their first game to enter the U23 Asian Cup quarterfinals. I’m impressed with my players. Before this tournament, no one thought Vietnam would be able to pull this off but we succeeded. I can’t take any compliments. They belong to the players, doctors and staff members. I really appreciate them,” Gong said at a press briefing after the game.
Vietnam dominated most of the game and they got the first goal in the 29th minute by Nham Manh Dung’s header. They doubled the scoring before the first half ended with Bui Hoang Viet Anh’s goal after a penalty. Although Vietnam couldn’t score more in the second half, 2-0 was enough for them to take the second spot because in the other game of group C, Thailand lost 0-1 to South Korea.
In this crucial game, Gong surprised everyone by replacing five key players in the lineup.
“I was thinking about the quarterfinals. I don’t have any other special reasons. All players are physically and technically fit so I was confident to make the changes,” Gong said.
After the win against Malaysia, the players were not too excited. Gong said the team still have games ahead so this is not the time to celebrate. He also doesn’t care about the next opponent since they are all tough teams and rather focuses on the preparation.
“We have to rest first. I asked the players what do they want and they said they want to get on a higher level. I can totally understand that and I want to take them there,” Gong added.
Vietnam’s opponent in the quarterfinals will be decided after the last fixture of group D on Thursday. It will be either Japan or Saudi Arabia.
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