Coach Park Hang-seo has affirmed that he and the Vietnam U22 team are at their peak determination to beat Indonesia U22s to win the men’s football gold medal of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
On the morning of December 9, a pre-match press brief was held for the 30th SEA Games men’s football final between Vietnam and Indonesia, slated for December 10 evening at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
Speaking at the press conference, coach Park showed determination and a strong desire to win the gold medal with his players, as the female team did the same thing a day earlier.
A 1-0 victory over the Thai women’s team in the SEA Games women’s football final yesterday helped coach Mai Duc Chung’s side successfully defend their gold medal at the regional multi-sports festival. The feat shows the courage and tenacity of the Vietnamese female players in overcoming all the difficulties in the match to collect their 6th SEA Games title and become the most successful side in the region.
Vietnam U22s’ head coach Park Hang-seo was present in the stand last night to cheer on the Vietnamese women’s team. After the terrific victory, coach Mai Duc Chung expressed his sincere thanks to his Korean colleague’s support and confirmed that he would join his players in going to the Rizal Memorial Stadium tomorrow evening to cheer their male colleagues in winning their first ever gold medal.
As planned, the Vietnamese women’s team would return home today (Dec. 9) after the final match, but coach Chung and his players have changed their flight tickets to stay in the Philippines for two more days to support the men’s team. This will be a great source of encouragement for Vietnam U22s to the final victory in their historic match tomorrow. It is reported that the women’s team will fly home on the same flight with the Vietnam U22 squad at 17:00 on Dec. 11 and hopefully they would bring both gold medals home.
Regarding the importance of the final with Indonesia, Park said: “Vietnamese football has challenged SEA Games titles for many times but has not been successful at the top. This time and now, all have been well prepared for the moment to win the gold medal.”
“We are only one step towards the gold medal. Fans, the coaching staff and all the Vietnamese players can be proud of what we have done at this tournament. And we will continue to make every effort to win gold. The whole team will fight hard for this,” the 60-year-old strategist affirmed.
The last time Vietnam made it through to the men’s final of the SEA Games football was in the 2009 edition held in Laos. Now ten years have passed by. Therefore, leading his players to the final at this year’s SEA Games has brought Park special feelings. “I am a coach and have been through many international competitions but in Vietnam it is very special. I have received a lot of sentiment and support from the Vietnamese people. I want to bring this title back home to the fans as my responsibility has to be,” Park said.
Last night, Park and his assistants went to the Rizal Memorial Stadium to cheer for the Vietnamese women’s team in the women’s football final against Thailand. The Korean coach was especially impressed with the courageous fighting spirit of coach Mai Duc Chung’s side. “I feel happy watching Vietnamese girls fighting and winning the gold medal. I am proud of them. And I also have a dream that both teams return to Hanoi with gold medals,” said Park.
At the final match tomorrow, Vietnam will re-meet Indonesia, who lost 2-1 to Park’s side in the group stage. Giving his assessment on their final opponents, the Korean coach said: “They are a well-organised team with fighting spirit and balance in both attack and defence. In the group stage, they somewhat showed that with 17 goals and most of them from the left wing. However, they also have weaknesses and we know how to exploit them. The final promises to be very exciting. All of my players are ambitious and have fighting spirit. We know what to do to win.”
Park and his players had their last training camp behind closed doors today before the title showdown with Indonesia. Reporters will not be allowed to attend the training session at the Rizal Memorial Stadium as Park wants to keep the tactics secret for the most important match, tomorrow.
This is not the first time the Korean coach has asked for a full closed training at this year’s SEA Games. Previously, Vietnam also had a closed door training before the Group B match with Indonesia and as a result, they got an important 2-1 victory.
In the reunion next day, Indonesia U22s have showed that they have improved a lot and are getting excited after a 4-2 victory over Myanmar U22s in the semi-finals. Therefore, Park must have more important strategies in both tactics and personnel choice for the final.