Vietnam thrashed by Japan at Nutifood Cup

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Vietnam's U19 team suffered a 7-0 defeat to Japan in their second game at the Under-19 Nutifood Cup international football tournament in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.

The young Japanese visitors moved fast, had good control of the ball and made accurate passes. Their attacks put the Vietnamese U19s under constant pressure. The seven goals were scored by six players in different situations, indicating how strong the whole Japanese team was.

This is a friendly tournament, but the heavy beating was a kind of tough love for the Vietnamese U19s.

Football coach Mai Duc Chung said: "The Japanese U19s clearly showed they are Asia's No.1. In addition to better physical strength, the Japanese dealt with different situations much better than Vietnamese counterparts."

Football analyst Nguyen Van Vinh said: "The Vietnamese U19 team's strategy was very simple and they got more and more fatigued as the game was drawing to an end. Obviously, the Vietnamese U19s are not physically well-prepared for high-profile games."

Vinh also said the Vietnamese U19 team coach Guillaume Graechen did not adopt very good strategies to deal with very strong opponents.

Speaking after the game, coach Guillaume Graechen said, "I want to say sorry to everyone. The only word I can say now is 'ashamed.' Conceding four goals in the first 15 minutes was too hard for my players. Some of them felt psychologically tense because they had never been in such a bad situation."

Graechen said the Vietnamese U19s would need to make a lot of improvements in the future but would first have to prepare for the next game against the U19 team from the English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.

The Japanese U19 team coach Suzuki Masakazu said, "We won the game because our players adopted the right strategy as instructed by the coaching staff. The early goal [after one minute] was very advantageous for us. The ability to launch attacks was the real difference between the Japanese and Vietnamese U19s.

"We launched a larger variety of attacks while the Vietnamese U19s just focused on attacks right in front of the penalty area only. After watching the game between Vietnam and AS Roma [two days earlier], we knew we needed to stop the Vietnamese U19s in front of the penalty area. That was why the Vietnamese U19s did not have many scoring chances."

In the tournament's other game, AS Roma's U19 players beat the Spurs' counterparts to rise to the top of the pile with six points. Japan and the Spurs are second and third with three points each while Vietnam is at the bottom with 0 points.

The Spurs, who beat Japan 2-1 in their first game, will play Vietnam while AS Roma will clash with Japan. The Italian representatives are very likely to beat Japan to win the championship while the Spurs will probably beat Vietnam to take second place.

The Nutifood Cup friendly football event will close on Friday.

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