Vietnam not there yet despite win over UAE, says Park
Hanoi: Head coach Park Hang-seo credited Thursday's 1-0 Asian Qualifiers victory against United Arab Emirates as a team effort but warned that Vietnam still have a long, difficult road ahead.
Nguyen Tien Linh’s super strike was the difference as Vietnam held on for victory at My Dinh Stadium on Thursday to move top of Group E, while the UAE dropped to third place with six points from two wins and two defeats.
Vietnam still have four games left in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualification, and their next match is against regional rivals Thailand in Hanoi on Tuesday.
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"We must quickly forget tonight’s victory and go back to training tomorrow to prepare for that match," said Park to local media after the UAE game in Hanoi.
"The victory against the UAE was an effort from all players, not any individual and we are now at the top of the group."
While noting that there were some moments when Vietnam's performance faltered, Park said his players played to the best of their abilities and thanked them.
Nguyen Tien Linh scored the match's only goal from a beautiful swerve from outside the penalty area in the 44th minute.
"He's one of the young forwards who shows the most potential in Vietnam at present," Park said of the 22-year-old forward, who plays for V.League 1 club Becamex Bình Duong.
UAE head coach Bert van Marwijk praised Vietnam for their fighting performance.
"Vietnam are a good team. They have a very interesting play-style, with an impressive defence roster. They played well tonight. They stand a very good chance of advancing in the Qualifiers," said van Marwijk.
Dutchman van Marwijk, however, rued Khalifa Al Hammadi's sending off eight minutes from half time for bringing down goalscorer Tien Linh.
"The sending off changed the complexion of the match," said van Marwijk as UAE fell to their second successive defeat.
The West Asians will sit out Tuesday's action and will resume their campaign on March 26 against Malaysia at home.
Photos: Vietnam Football Federation
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