While Vietnamese football fans probably were not expecting their U-22 squad to beat Argentina U-20s, the performance of the hosts in Sunday’s friendly in Hanoi was underwhelming to say the least.
Argentina U-20s easily took their second win of a pre-tournament training camp in Vietnam ahead of the U-20 FIFA World Cup in South Korea, routing Vietnam’s under-22 side 5-0 at My Dinh Stadium.
The South Americans had previously beaten Vietnam U-20s 4-1 in another friendly in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.
Sunday night’s game was Argentina’s final warm-up before the World Cup and a chance for Vietnam’s coach Nguyen Huu Thang to look at his own men ahead of the 2017 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games later this year.
Argentina coach Claudio Ubeda fielded his strongest team, who proved that they were of a much higher class than their hosts.
Colombatto Santiago scored Argentina’s opener with a classy 25m free kick, before the Argentines followed that up with four more goals in the 23rd, 45th, 65th and 82nd minutes.
Nguyen Huu Thang said he was unhappy with his team’s dispirited performance, while his Argentine counterpart said he had enjoyed the match with the U-22s more than the U-20s earlier in the week.
While the loss against the visiting South Americans was not a surprise, local supporters left the stadium frustrated by the lackluster performance of their team.
“Vietnam U-22s were weak in both attack and defense,” coach Doan Minh Xuong wrote in a piece sent to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
“The biggest concern is that the team lacked a quality striker, without whom they won’t achieve their aim of advancing to the men’s final at the SEA Games.”
Coach Xuong appeared pessimistic about the Games in Malaysia this August, also saying that the squad “lacked a leader who can motivate players when they’re down.”
|A Vietnamese player looks disappointed after the 0-5 loss.|
After Sunday’s game, Argentina U-20s left Hanoi for South Korea, where they will continue to prepare for the tournament that begins later this week.
Vietnam U-20s, who will make the country’s first-ever World Cup appearance at any level, arrived in Seoul on Friday.
The 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup will run from May 20 to June 11, with newcomers Vietnam sharing Group E with France, Honduras, and New Zealand.