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Việt Nam need to improve after a first win at the AFF Championship

Tuesday, 22/08/2023 | 08:21:10 [GMT +7] A  A

Việt Nam beat Laos 4-1 in their opening game of Group C at the Rayong Stadium, Rayong Province, Thailand, on August 20.

Đinh Xuân Tiến of Việt Nam (centre) runs past Lao players during their AFF U23 Championship on August 20 in Rayong, Thailand. Việt Nam won 4-1. VNA/VNS Photo

Despite a win, Việt Nam coach Hoàng Anh Tuấn said there is still much room for improvement if the U23s want to progress at the AF U23 Football Championship.

Việt Nam beat Laos 4-1 in their opening game of Group C at the Rayong Stadium, Rayong Province, Thailand, on August 20.

The score was opened in the 23rd minute as midfielder Khuất Văn Khang flicked the ball to Võ Hoàng Minh Khoa in the box and he easily tapped it in.

Vietnamese players celebrated the goal by gathering together in a corner of the field to prayer and commemorate the three Hoàng Anh Gia Lai FC members who died in a traffic accident on August 12.

Shortly after the break, Laos suddenly earned an equaliser from a set piece. Vietnamese goalkeeper Quan Văn Chuẩn made a mistake when he failed to punch the ball away which fell to substitute Thipphachan Khambai and he easily found the back of the net.

Laos played better after the goal but Việt Nam stepped up their performance. Nguyễn Minh Quang, and substitutes Đinh Xuân Tiến and Bùi Vĩ Hào scored within the rest 20 minutes of the half.

"Việt Nam won and I have to congratulate players. I am a little pleased with the result because we met with challenges but finally we made it. It is clear that we still have much work to do," said Tuấn at the post-match conference.

"It is the first match of the tournament, which is never easy. I always tell my players to keep focused and respect all opponents. But during this game, I got angry sometimes because they lost their concentration, helping Laos create difficulties for us.

"I ask them to play stronger, manage balls better and set higher standards to strive for."

Coach Hoàng Anh Tuân and MVP of the match Nguyễn Quang Minh (left) attend the post-match briefing. — VNA/VNS Photo

Tuấn picked a squad of many youngsters who are from 17 to 20 years old along with three U23 members.

Forward Nguyễn Minh Quang, who was voted MVP of the match, said: "We tried our best in the first match and won. I will have to do better in the next games to reach the final."

Laos coach Guglielmo Arena appreciated Việt Nam efforts but said he was still proud of his team.

He said Việt Nam were well organised, but Laos still caused many problems. However, his young players, younger than Việt Nam, could not control their pace after the equaliser.

"Everything happened too fast and there were many things must be improved later," he said.

He added that it was impossible to loose focus when playing Việt Nam which were deserved winners as they were much stronger.

After the win, Việt Nam top the Group with three points. The Philippines and Laos, 1-1 in their match two days ago, sit in second and third, respectively.

While Laos played all of their two group round matches, Việt Nam will play the Philippines on August 22. The defending champions just need one point from this match while the Filipinos must win to qualify to the semi-finals as the group winner.

Source: Vietnam News