Monday , January 30 2023

Vietnam, Indonesia football coaches continue war of words


Vietnam national football team head coach Park Hang-seo fired back at his Indonesian rival Shin Tae-yong after the latter said his team was improving.

“Coach Tae-yong was right in saying that Indonesia has improved. But I think he should show it with real performance on the field instead of words,” Park told reporters Sunday ahead of the second leg of the semi-final clash between nemeses Vietnam and Indonesia Monday evening.

“If we lose tomorrow, I will accept it,” said Park. “But if I win, Shin should not repeat the same statement. Show it with actual results.”

Shin, the South Korean head coach of Indonesia’s national football team, had said earlier that Indonesia had been improving ever since he’d become their head coach, adding that Indonesia is now “at the same level with Vietnam.”

Indonesia head coach Shin Tae-yong speaks at a press briefing on January 8, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

Indonesia head coach Shin Tae-yong speaks at a press briefing on January 8, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

Vietnam and Indonesia drew 0-0 on the first leg of AFF Cup on Friday, when Indonesia was able to play confidently and created many opportunities but unable to score a goal with the support of 50,000 home fans.

Both squads flew from Jakarta to Hanoi Friday to prepare for the second match, but Indonesia arrived four hours earlier than Vietnam because the team flies on a private jet while Vietnam took a regular flight that included changing plans in Ho Chi Minh City.

“The match tomorrow is very important to me,” Park said. “It could be the last match in which I lead the Vietnam national team if we lose. If we win, we will have two more matches in the finals.”

“I do not want to say goodbye to the team with a failure in the semifinal,” he said. “We will play the best we can.”

The 2022 AFF Cup will be the last tournament with Park as gaffer of the national squad.

In his five-year career with the country, the 65-year-old leader gave Vietnam the AFF Cup Championship in 2018, while also helping them take second place at the Asian U23 tourney and fourth place at the Asiad.

He also helmed Vietnamese teams that won the 30th SEA Games, reached the quarterfinals of the 2019 Asian Cup, and entered the third qualifying round of the Asian World Cup 2022.

Shin has been leading Indonesia since 2020. He is more famous than the senior Park thanks to his coaching Korea to victory against defending champion Germany in the 2018 World Cup.

The Indonesian Football Federation (PSSI) pays Shin $1.5 million per year. But so far, reaching the final of the AFF Cup 2020 and losing to Thailand is still the best result achieved by the 52-year-old coach in the Southeast Asian nation.

In the 2022 AFF Cup Vietnam scored three times early in the group stage matches, thereby opening up easy victories.

Referring to the organization of AFF Cup 2022, Park said that it would be better if VAR were used, as it would help reduce the number of referee mistakes.

Vietnam and Indonesia will play at 7.30 p.m. Monday. The winner will meet either Thailand or Malaysia in the finals.

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