With excellent skills, playmaker Ho Khac Ngoc (L) has made great contributions to the Vietnamese squad at the U.21 International Football Tournament in Ninh Thuan this year. Photo: Kha Hoa
Playmaker Ho Khac Ngoc's outstanding performances have led Vietnam to two wins over Myanmar and Singapore at the ongoing 7th edition of the Under-21 International Football Tournament in Ninh Thuan Province.
The Vietnamese team coach Dinh Van Dung has called the 21-year-old Ngoc "the heart of the squad" because of his dominance in the midfield at the Thanh Nien-sponsored event this year.
He's been leading attacks and controlling the ball very well, even when surrounded by opponents. Most importantly, he's been passing extremely accurately, especially when gunning for his teammates in the rivals' penalty area.
Khac Ngoc created lots of chances in the 2-0 win over Myanmar in the opener on Sunday but his teammates wasted most of them. It was Ngoc who created the chance for Xuan Thang to score the match's only goal in the 1-0 victory over Singapore in the second game on Tuesday.
As one of the talented young players to come out of the Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) Football Training Center - along with Phi Son, Dinh Hoang and Hoang Thinh - Khac Ngoc has played for the U.16, U.17, U.19 and U.21 national squads.
After his great performance with the second-place Vietnamese U.21s at the Thanh Nien-sponsored U.21 International Football Tournament 2012, Ngoc was given the chance to play for SLNA in the national top-flight
V-League 2013 and he was one of the best players that helped the team finish in the 4th position.
Coach Dinh Van Dung said Ngoc is physically not very strong and may get fatigued near the end of the match, so he has not been able to win a place on the U.23 national squad. He will become much better if he trains harder to improve his weaknesses.
Khac Ngoc said he and his teammates failed to retain the U.21 national football championship but he felt greatly honored to be chosen to play for the national team at the international contest.
"My teammates and I will do our best in all the matches in gratitude to the enthusiastic support from the football fans. I myself will try to train hard to make more contributions to SLNA and also to the national team if I have a chance," Ngoc said.
Speaking about the rivals at this year's event, Khac Ngoc said the young players from Sydney FC were the best because the players are very strong and skillful. Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar showed they want wins because they have brought good players to the competition.
According to the national coach council, Khac Ngoc is being considered for the U.22 national team for the U.22 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Championship 2014.
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