Coach Hoang Anh Tuan: “U23 Vietnam’s victory is well-deserved

In a pivotal second-round match at the U23 Asian Cup 2024, U23 Vietnam secured a commanding 2-0 victory over U23 Malaysia, bringing them a significant step closer to the quarterfinals. Post-match, coach Hoang Anh Tuan expressed his satisfaction with the performance, highlighting the team’s adherence to tactical discipline and execution.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of this match. Each game shows our progression. The players performed well technically, and the final score accurately reflected the flow of the game. Vietnam deserved to win,” stated Hoang Anh Tuan at the press conference.

Coach Tuan acknowledged that despite the smooth scoreline, the match against Malaysia posed its challenges, particularly towards the end of the second half. He explained, “As I mentioned before the tournament, there are no weak teams in our group. Even though we secured a win, there were challenging moments, especially late in the second half.”

Recalling his previous experiences with U23 Vietnam, especially during the U20 Asian Cup 2023, Coach Tuan emphasized the different dynamics at play in the U23 level. He highlighted the maturity and growth of the players who transitioned from U20 to U23, understanding the nature and stakes of each match. “I don’t need to overstate this. The team knows our common goals very clearly from the start of the season,” he added.

The victory places U23 Vietnam in a strong position in Group D, potentially advancing to the quarterfinals early, depending on the outcome of the match between U23 Uzbekistan and U23 Kuwait. Coach Tuan pointed out that regardless of other results, the focus is on preparing thoroughly for the upcoming crucial match against U23 Uzbekistan on April 23.

Khuat Van Khang, named the Player of the Match by AFC, echoed his coach’s sentiments, “Today, the whole team performed excellently, sticking to the tactics and rightfully securing the win. I just played a small part in our overall victory.”

Looking ahead, Khang remains cautiously optimistic about Vietnam’s chances, “In football, nothing is certain. We’ll take it one game at a time, aiming to achieve our set goals for the tournament.”

Khang’s goal against Malaysia marked his consistent ability to deliver in crucial moments, reminiscent of his memorable free-kick goal at the U16 Asian Cup 2018 against Indonesia, which similarly showcased his skill in set-piece situations.

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