Coaches laud Vietnam's U21 success

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Football coaches in the country heaped praise for the national U21 team after they won the Thanh Nien-sponsored Under-21 International Football Competition in Gia Lai Province on Tuesday.

Vietnam's national and under-23 football teams coach Falko Goetz said, "It is a pity that I was busy preparing the national team for a friendly with Japan [in Kobe on Friday October 7], so I didn't have time to be at the Pleiku Stadium to watch the final match.

"However, my assistants and I watched the semifinal between Vietnam and Thailand on TV and I was pleased with the quality of the match."

Goetz said the Vetnamese players deserved to be praised not only for their high spirits but also for their skills despite some weaknesses.

This is a good competition that gives young Vietnamese players an opportunity to clash with the regional and continental players, he said, adding that good competitions would help improve the standard of the game in Vietnam, he said. 

From the recently concluded U21 contest, he could choose some players to add to the U23 team to prepare for the 26th Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia in November, Goetz said.

Mai Duc Chung, assistant coach of the National football team, said, "Over the past years that it has been held, this year's event was particularly fantastic. We can say it was a great success. The matches were of very good quality because the organizers invited competent and ambitious foreign teams.

"When watching the matches on TV with me, Goetz praised the Vietnamese U21 team a lot.

"Because of their energy and good skills and strategies, the team was on equal terms with young players from Iran for most of the time in the final match. That is a good sign.

"I was very impressed by striker Ha Minh Tuan, midfielders Hoang Nhat Nam and Duy Thanh, central fullbacks Thanh Nam and Nguyen Van Thang."

Chung said he is not among the coaching staff of the U23 team but he would sugggest to Goetz that some excellent players who shone at the U21 international football event be included in it.

Trieu Quang Ha, former coach of Vietnam's U19 national team, said, "I coached the U19 team to come second at the event in 2009 and won the championship in 2010. I didn't participate in the event this year but it left a lot of special emotions.

"The matches this year were very exciting and thrilling from beginning to end. The young Vietnamese players at the contest proved to be equal to strong rivals from abroad. It is an indication for a good future for Vietnamese football."

Coach Tran Van Phuc said, "The Thanh Nien-sponsored U21 tournament this year was wonderful. The matches were exciting and fierce, creating a special brand value for the event.

"The foreign players were strong teams but the Vietnamese players were not underdogs. The matches were spectacular and pleasing to the eyes. The young Vietnamese players will have a better future if they are trained more."

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