Head coach Park Hang-seo said Vietnam’s national football team need to look beyond regional tournaments for “valuable” lessons.
Speaking to press in Japan on Monday, one day before Vietnam play Japan in the second leg of the final round of 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Park said after nine matches, Vietnam had lost the first seven games and could only win the eighth against China before losing the ninth to Oman.
“When competing against Asia’s leading teams, there is a quality gap [between Vietnam and those teams]. But this is the first time that Vietnam have ever played against those teams and many valuable lessons have been learned,” he said.
“Our vision now is for Vietnam to reach out of Southeast Asia and participate in similar playgrounds,” he added.
2022 World Cup is the first time in history that Vietnam has made it to the final round of qualifiers.
On the first leg, Vietnam lost 0-1 to Japan in Hanoi, with their upcoming game a mere formality since Japan has already booked a ticket to 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Vietnam have no chance left to qualify for the tournament.
The game on Tuesday is expected to be more challenging for Vietnam compared to the one in Hanoi due to the absence of several key players, who could not play either because of Covid-19 or injuries.
“We could only bring 20 players to Japan,” said Park.
“But this is the last game and we will try to do the best we can. Japan are already too strong and apart from that, they have a very good football management system and foundation,” he said.
The game will start at 5:35 p.m. (Hanoi time) and be reported live on VnExpress International.
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