Vietnam football coach laments players’ lack of confidence in loss to S. Korea

August 29, 2018

CIBINONG, Indonesia, Aug. 29 (Yonhap) — Vietnam football coach Park Hang-seo said Wednesday his players’ lack of confidence led to defeat to South Korea at the 18th Asian Games.

Vietnam’s winning streak at the Asian Games came to an end after suffering a 3-1 defeat to South Korea in the men’s football semifinal match at Pakansari Stadium, Cibinong, south of Jakarta. Prior to their meeting with the defending champions, Park’s Vietnam had a five-game winning streak at the Asian Games without surrendering a goal.

“Our players appeared to be drained by the fact that they were facing South Korea,” Park said. “And that led us to concede a goal early, which we lost by some big margin. But I’m sure we’ll develop and learn from this experience.”

Vietnam football coach Park Hang-seo gives direction to his players during the men's football semifinal match at the 18th Asian Games at the 18th Asian Games at Pakansari Stadium in Cibinong, south of Jakarta, on Aug. 29, 2018. (Yonhap)

Vietnam football coach Park Hang-seo gives direction to his players during the men’s football semifinal match at the 18th Asian Games at the 18th Asian Games at Pakansari Stadium in Cibinong, south of Jakarta, on Aug. 29, 2018. (Yonhap)

Park has found himself in an awkward position in recent days.

The 59-year-old is a South Korean. Park said facing his home country in the knockout stage was a somewhat strange feeling.

“I just want to say congratulations to coach Kim Hak-beom,” he said. “I’m now head coach of Vietnam and it’s not right for me to talk about South Korea.”

Despite the loss, Park has already made history for Vietnam. Before he took the helm, Vietnam’s best Asiad performance was the round of 16.

Now, Park will try to deliver Vietnam’s first-ever Asiad medal in men’s football. His side will face the losers of the match between Japan and the United Arab Emirates for the bronze medal.

“Although our steps to the final have stopped here, we’ll work again for the third place match,” he said. “We’ll make thorough preparations.”

Park Hang-seo (L), head coach of Vietnam U-23 football team, shakes hands with South Korea U-23 football head coach Kim Hak-bum ahead of the men's football semifinal match at the 18th Asian Games at Pakansari Stadium in Cibinong, south of Jakarta, on Aug. 29, 2018. (Yonhap)

Park Hang-seo (L), head coach of Vietnam U-23 football team, shakes hands with South Korea U-23 football head coach Kim Hak-bum ahead of the men’s football semifinal match at the 18th Asian Games at Pakansari Stadium in Cibinong, south of Jakarta, on Aug. 29, 2018. (Yonhap)

 

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