Coach Hoang Anh Tuan defends Manh Hung after his red card in the match against U23 Iraq

After a challenging quarterfinal match at the AFC U23 Asian Cup 2024, where U23 Vietnam faced a defeat against U23 Iraq, the Vietnamese squad’s coach, Hoang Anh Tuan, came forward to defend his young central defender, Manh Hung, who received a red card during the late stages of the game.

Manh Hung, only 19 years old, was sent off following a controversial incident where he was deemed to have committed a foul on an Iraqi player. Coach Tuan, addressing the incident in the post-match press conference, expressed his belief that the red card was an overly harsh decision. “If we observe the entire tournament up to this point, the role of VAR has been significant, with many red and yellow cards and penalty situations. It’s not just Vietnam but also top teams in the continent facing similar issues,” Tuan explained.

He further elaborated on the specific incident involving Hung, “I believe that Manh Hung did not deserve a red card for that incident. In a specific match and a specific moment, a player might not have enough time and space to react appropriately, especially a young player like Manh Hung who is only 19 years old. I don’t condone it, but I do empathize with him receiving such a severe punishment.”

The young defender’s dismissal was a critical moment in the match, significantly impacting U23 Vietnam’s ability to compete during the final minutes. Despite this setback, Coach Tuan praised his team’s overall performance and commitment throughout the tournament.

As U23 Vietnam exits the U23 Asian Cup, the players, including Manh Hung, will return to their respective clubs to continue their season in the V-League and the National First Division. The experience gained in this tournament is expected to be invaluable for the young players as they continue to develop their careers in Vietnamese football.

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