SEA Games: Vietnam U22 stay focused ahead of key match against Indonesia U22s

Friday, 2019-11-29 15:26:58
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Vietnamese players back in training in preparation for their next key match against Indonesia U22s. (Photo: NDO/Minh Phu)
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NDO – Vietnam U22 players were back to training on Friday (Nov. 29) to prepare for their next tough game against Indonesia U22s in their Group B third match at the 30th SEA Games on Sunday.

Coach Park Hang-seo’s side beat their Lao opponents 6-1 in the second Group B clash on Thursday, while Indonesia also earned a 2-0 victory over Singapore in another match later the same day.

Both Vietnam and Indonesia are sitting at the top of the group after their two consecutive wins, only a better goal difference helping Vietnam claim the top spot. The next clash between the two heavyweights at Rizal Memorial Stadium on Sunday evening is likely to decide who are the group winners.

To prepare for the important match, on Friday morning, Vietnamese players were back at their training camp, including those played in the 6-1 victory over Laos. However, the squad only had a light training session at the Rizal Memorial Stadium this morning.

Shortly before the start of the session, defender Nguyen Thanh Chung and goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung shared with the media about the situation of Vietnam's squad, as well as their assessment over Indonesia - the team that have cause a lot of surprises after two consecutive victories against defending champions Thailand and Singapore, both with the score of 2-0.

Witnessing two impressive victories of Indonesia, goalie Tien Dung said that he did not feel too surprised: “When participating in SEA Games, all opponents are strong and we always have to focus as much as possible to win".

When having free time, the whole team watched not only the replayed matches of Indonesia but also many other teams in the 30th SEA Games. As their next opponents are very good in physical strength, defender Thanh Chung said that he paid special attention to Osvaldo Haay – the No. 20 player of Indonesia team who shined with a goal and an assist in the 2-0 win over Singapore yesterday night. Chung said Osvaldo is the new face of Indonesia and he has didn’t have the opportunity to face Osvaldo in the AFC U23 Championship qualifiers earlier this year, but he was surprised as Osvaldo played quite well with his good physical strength and speed.

“After many matches sitting on the bench, I do not feel any pressure when being named in the starting line-ups. As a player, I must try hard every day. Every time the coach giving the opportunity, I always try to capture and maximise it by my strengths to complete the task well. The goals I have scored are partly due to luck, and also due to continuous training,” Chung said.

Regarding the disadvantages of playing on artificial turf, both Tien Dung and Thanh Chung said they found it difficult to judge and handle the ball as it goes fast and has a much more unpredictable bounce than when playing on grass. Moreover, the sunny weather in Manila also limits the players’ ability.

With an average of two days rest in between each match, the whole team has to rotate continuously with only 20 players to reduce the burden from the tight fixture schedule. On the injuries of defender Tan Sinh and midfielder Trong Hung, the duo are recovering well to be able to return as soon as possible. Chung also confided: "The coaching board and the medical team always urge us to intake more protein-rich foods, replenish plenty of water and have a good rest to maintain our physique".

Against Indonesia U22s, both Dung and Chung said that the whole team, most importantly the defensive line will try to keep a clean sheet, while striving to score to win. The squad will soon have a separate meeting to devise specific plans.

Following are some pictures of the team’s training camp this morning, capture by Nhan Dan Newspaper correspondent Minh Phu, who is accompanying the Vietnamese sports delegation at the 30th SEA Games in Manila.

Coach Park Hang-seo instructs defender Nguyen Thanh Chung in a specific defending drill during the training camp on Friday morning.

Keeper Bui Tien Dung is still Park’s top choice for a spot in the starting line-ups.

Players replenish water under 32C sun in Manila.

Vietnam U22 players are in high mood after their two consecutive emphatic wins.