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Improvements needed after UAE draw, says Park

Buriram: Runners-up from 2018, Vietnam need to improve certain aspects of their play if they are to go far this time around. That is the message from head coach Park Hang-seo after his side started their AFC U23 Championship Thailand 2020 campaign with a 0-0 draw against the UAE on Friday.

Nguyen Quang Hai came close on a couple of occasions for Vietnam and Nguyen Tien Linh was denied a winner at the death by the Emirati goalkeeper as Park’s side settled for a point at Buriram Stadium.

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“We expected it to be a very difficult game and playing the UAE today proved just that,” said Park.

“The players were under pressure with this being the first match while some of them lacked the experience of playing in a big competition. But overall, I'm pleased with the result - we collected a point which is good. I want to thank the players, who did their best throughout the game."

“We used the 3-4-3 formation for the game, but when we were defending, we switched to a 5-4-1 strategy and from defence to offence, during the transition, we needed time to adjust.

“Sometimes the transition didn’t work well and we had a tough time in the match. If we want to improve, we need to improve on our counter-attacking play more effectively.”

#AFCU23 - MD1 Group D: Vietnam 0-0 UAE

UAE head coach Maciej Skorza (pictured below) was not as pleased with the draw, ruing his side’s missed chances in their tournament opener.

The 47-year-old Pole was full of praise for his opponents, hailing them as a physically and tactically disciplined team difficult to create chances against, while expressing his satisfaction with the level of intensity his own players showed.

“To be honest, we could have done better with our finishing especially from inside the penalty box,” said Skorza, “But we knew how difficult the task was going to be to create opportunities. I’m very disappointed that we didn’t take the lead in the first half but Vietnam played well with five defenders and they did their job well. In the end it was a fair result.

“In the final 10 minutes of the game, Vietnam turned on the pressure and were very dangerous and they created plenty of goalscoring opportunities, especially the two corners.”

“Vietnam are who they are today because of the excellent work of Park and his coaching staff. It is the result of hard work while Tien Linh is an exceptional striker but most importantly they showed remarkable teamwork.”

UAE face DPR Korea in their next match, while Monday also sees Vietnam lock horns with group leaders Jordan.

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