Making news

Football: Vietnam affirm target of SEA Games gold

Vietnam seeks to win a gold medal in football at the 32nd SEA Games while head coach Philippe Troussier said his team will be ready after the men's football draw was held on April 5 in Phnom Penh.

Defending champions Vietnam are placed in Group B with Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Laos.

“Personally, I am not surprised with the draw result. Our coaching board has predicted and prepared for all situations," said Troussier.

"All ASEAN teams are familiar with Việt Nam as we often meet in regional tournaments. I respect all four squads in Group B and will work on each match to have the best result.

"Whatever the draw result is and who are our rivals, we will step in the tournament as reigning champion and our target is to defend our place."

The Frenchman said when his team is back for training, they will focus on fixing problems and strengthening weaknesses that were revealed in Vietnam's poor results at the recent Doha Cup.

"Matches in Qatar gave us valuable experience as players faced quality rivals who were at a higher level. I believe that they would not have this experience if playing locally," Troussier said.

Troussier, when signing his contract with the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), was asked to lead Vietnam to the SEA Games final.

However, after the April 5 draw, his task has lifted up to defending the title.

"VFF has anticipated difficulties for the team at the 32nd SEA Games. We have prepared and given all the best for them towards the Games," said VFF General Secretary Duong Nghiep Khoi.

"The recent Doha Cup's result was not good, but like Troussier said, it was a good lesson for both coaches and players in preparation for the SEA Games. We trust him. He will have suitable plans for different rivals at the Games. We all confirmed to do all the best to complete the mission."

Men's football will kick off on April 29, six days before the Games' opening ceremony.

The two best teams of each group will advance to the semi-finals on May 13, and the final will be held on May 16./.