Coach Saad Al-Shehri said Vietnam caused trouble for Saudi Arabia before losing 0-2 in the quarterfinals of U23 Asian Cup on Sunday night.
“Vietnam are a quality and well-organized team. We had some difficulties at first. However, we were loyal to our style of play and succeeded. In this game, we tried to keep possession, made more passes and chose the right time to attack. After the second goal, we slowed down to save our stamina for the semifinals,” Al-Shehri said after the game in Uzbekistan’s Lokomotiv Stadium.
Saudi Arabia approached the game at a slower pace and let Vietnam create many chances, one of which was a shot by Le Minh Binh that hit the bar in the 35th minute. The game had a turning point in the 41st minute when Moteb Al-Harbi defeated keeper Quan Van Chuan from a finishing effort on the left lank. Saudi Arabia got another goal in the second half thanks to Firas Al-Buraikan’s header.
From the 77th minute, Saudi Arabia played with more men after keeper Chuan received a red card from hitting a Saudi Arabia player while trying to save a shot.
“After Vietnam keeper got a red card, it was even easier for us to play,” Al-Shehri said.
He praised Saudi Arabia players as being well-organized and having a good strategy. “We owned this game. In the second half, they played better and created more chances.”
Saudi Arabia will face Australia in the semifinals on Wednesday.
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