Monday , February 6 2023

Vietnam head coach humbled by SEA Games gold defense


Coach Park Hang-seo didn’t promise to help U23 Vietnam defend their SEA Games gold medal, but said he’ll try his best.

“I can’t promise anything. All I can say is I’ll try my best. If I promise and I can’t do it, people will criticize me,” Park told a press conference Friday.

Park led the U23 team to win the gold medal at SEA Games 2019 in the Philippines. This year, SEA Games 31 is hosted in Vietnam and Park was assigned to help the team defend their gold medal. After this event, he will leave the U23 head coach position and focus on the national team.

To prepare for SEA Games 31 next month, the U23 team have played two exhibition games with U20 South Korea. In the first game Tuesday, without the strongest lineup, Vietnam drew 1-1. When the teams met again Friday, Vietnam won 1-0 thanks to a goal by forward Le Van Tung.

In this game, Park used the best lineup possible with three national team players, who are over 23 years old. After the game, U20 South Korea coach Kim Eun-jung said Vietnam played better than the first game, and those three national players made a difference.

After two friendlies, Park revealed that he has chosen about 20 players for SEA Games 31. However, he will keep an eye on a few more players as a backup in case there’s any Covid-19 cases on the team.

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