Southeast Asia Vietnam

Manager Park Hang-seo’s boys sail through at the SEA Games… Vietnam eyes to win its first gold since 1959

Written by Youngsub Lee

Football Tribe Korea

Will another history for Vietnamese football be written? Vietnam U-22 manager, Park Hang-seo has led his squad to the finals at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) Men’s Football Tournament.

Having last won the tournament in 1959, gold medal at the SEA Games was the foremost task for the 62-year-old manager who put pen to paper on a new deal in Vietnam last month.

The Korean manager who has experienced the utmost success with Vietnam may write another history at the 2019 SEA Games. Vietnam U-22 squad that includes two over-aged players (Đỗ Hùng Dũng and Nguyễn Trọng Hoàng) have qualified from a tough group that included southeast Asian powerhouses, Thailand and Indonesia, to the semi-finals. The Golden Dragons netted four against Cambodia during the semi-finals to proceed to the final stage.

The 60 years of earnest desire now lies on the finals against Indonesia at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum on Tuesday. Mr. Park’s boys have already faced their counterpart during the group stage, upsetting the Indonesian squad with a late winning goal. However, likely, the key players such as Nguyen Quang Hai and Nguyễn Tiến Linh may miss the finals due to injuries. It would be no easy game for Vietnam to bring home the trophy.

During the post-match press conference, manager Park said: “Tien Linh looked upset when he was substituted out. He wanted to play longer. However, I needed to consider his playing time at the finals, so I had to take him out.

“Indonesia is the most difficult opponent in this tournament. They deserve to be at the finals. However, we understand Indonesia’s style of football well. I wish Vietnam can win again to bring home the gold medals.”

95 million Vietnamese people now await to see their first gold medal at the SEA Games since 1959. Will the national hero show his magic again at the SEA Games?