For the Vietnamese national football team, there was a sense of deja vu after falling to the Philippines anew, 1-0, in the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup.
The result echoes the 2-0 victory the Azkals earned in the same tournament two years ago, a win that catapulted the sport to new heights in the Philippines.
Just like the joy for the Filipinos, the pain is all too familiar for the Vietnamese.
“Our team today played the worst match since I became head coach,” Vietnam coach Thanh Hung told reporters after the match.
“Before the game the whole team had good preparation in the aspect of mentality but when the match started so many players frooze and made wrong passes. And the goal it came from a wrong pass from one player.”
But the coach was quick to praise the Philippine defense, which turned back attack after attack from the Vietnamese side.
“They had a mass defense and it was difficult to break it down. We could not create any good chances or do anything that could turn the game,” Hung said.
Vietnam’s Le Tan Tai did have a clear shot at goal at the 88th minute, but Azkals keeper Eduard Sacapaño got a finger on the ball, which hit the crossbar before being cleared.
Now, Vietnam faces elimination in the group stages after being held to a 1-all draw in its first match against Myanmar. Its last assignment, host Thailand, figures to be a tough one, putting the 2008 champions in jeopardy of missing the semifinals after making the final four in 2010.
Hung took all the blame for the painful defeat.
“The players followed the tactics. As head coach I take responsibility for losing the game.”
source : interaksyon