Vietnam’s U23 footballers have a tough battle ahead of them as they prepare to defend their championship title, head coach Park Hang Seo stated at a press conference on Thursday prior to his side’s opener against Indonesia in Group A of men’s football at the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Vietnam’s opening match is scheduled to take place at Viet Tri Stadium in Viet Tri City, northern Phu Tho Province at 7:00 pm on Friday.
It will be broadcast live on national channels VTV5 and VTV6.
“Vietnam’s U23 footballers are under great pressure, but I’m certain we’ll retain the gold medal and make the fans happy at the 31st SEA Games,” coach Park Hang Seo said, reminding fans that Vietnam secured their title by outplaying Indonesia at the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines in 2019.
Indonesia now have a new head coach – Shin Tae Young – who many believe has transitioned the team to a more advanced level of play.
Although Vietnam will have the home-field advantage, Shin’s comments about the game have been nothing but full of confidence.
|Head coach Shin Tae Young of Indonesia’s U23 football team at the press conference in Viet Tri City, Phu Tho Province, Vietnam, May 5, 2022. Photo: N.K. / Tuoi Tre|
In addition to Vietnam and Indonesia, Group A also includes the Philippines, Timor Leste, and Myanmar.
Singapore, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia make up Group B.
The 31st SEA Games will take place in Hanoi and 11 neighboring provinces and cities from May 12 to 23, with some events set to commence a few days before the opening ceremony, including men’s and women’s football, kickboxing, diving, futsal, and Kurash.
The biennial event was originally scheduled to be held from November 21 to December 2, 2021 but was postponed after Vietnam saw a flare-up of COVID-19 cases in late April the same year.
The tournament will be attended by 11 delegations from Southeast Asian nations and consist of 526 categories in 40 sports.
Over 7,878 athletes, coaches, and members of the 11 sports delegations have registered for the event.