HO CHI MINH CITY (3 Sept 2012) – A loss is still a loss and Vietnam Under-19 chief coach Mai Duc Chung feels that his team must learn to play it smart if they want to do well against their physically superior opponents in the on-going AFF Under-19 Preparatory Tournament.
The hosts found it hard going in their first game against Iran last night where after conceding the early goal, they just could not consistently find a way through the stout Iranian defence.
And while Vietnam managed to score their first goal in the competition through Phan Dinh Thang, it came off a mistake from the Iranian defence and also keeper Hojjat Sedghi, who came off his line.
“We have to play it smart as football is not all about physique,” said Duc Chung after the game last night at the Thong Nhat Stadium.
“We are playing against players who are physically bigger and it is for that reason, we have to play it smart. We have to be quicker on our feet and not lose the ball so often.
“I think that we are still within a chance of doing well in our next two matches, provided the players start to play to their strength and not be swayed by the sheer physical size of the opponents.”
The AFF U19 Tournament was mooted for the benefits of ASEAN teams who have qualified for the AFC U19 Championship which this year will be held in the UAE in November.
Vietnam are in Group C of the meet alongside DPR Korea, Uzbekistan and Jordan. Another ASEAN team Thailand are in Group B against Korea Republic, China and Iraq.
AFF UNDER-19 PREPARATORY TOURNAMENT 2012
(All matches at the Thong Nhat Stadium)
2 Sept 2012: AUSTRALIA 1 UZBEKISTAN 2 / IR IRAN 2 VIETNAM 1
4 Sept 2012: Uzbekistan vs IR Iran (1600) / Vietnam vs Australia (1830)
6 Sept 2012: Australia vs IR Iran (1600) / Uzbekistan vs Vietnam (1830)
8 Sept 2012: 3rd Position vs 4th Position (1600) / Winner vs Runner-Up (1830)