Sports & Entertainment
Consistency key to Olympic squad
  • | VNS | October 27, 2010 06:35 PM

A good strategy and a balanced team are a must if the national Olympic football team (U23s) is to gain good results at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou next month, says U19 coach Trieu Quang Ha.

Staying power: Vietnamese footballers train for the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, next month.

"Vietnam can play with a more defensive line-up and use the counter-attack style but the most important thing is that the team must maintain their play for the whole ninety minutes," Ha told Vietnam News.

Speaking about his experiences at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) football championship early this month, Ha said West Asian teams not only have the advantage of height and physical strength, but were also skilful and good at controlling the ball.

Ha\'s national U19 squad beat Jordan but was outclassed by Japan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the tournament.

It is difficult to generalise the way West Asian teams play because each has a different style, he said.

For example, both Saudi Arabia and the UAE adopt varied tactics, while Jordan focuses on long and high balls to take advantage of height and strength.

The national Olympic team also needs to maintain an appropriate distance between opponents and use their energy effectively in dealing with all situations.

A long and thorough preparation is also very important to increase the strength of players as well as links in the team, Ha said.

Vietnam\'s confidence against West Asian teams has grown since the Asian Cup 2007 held at home, when the national team beat UAE 2-0 and drew 1-1 with Qatar to reach the quarter-finals for the first time despite of losing to Japan in the last match of the group.

Recently, however, the West Asians are more cautious when they face Vietnam, no longer treating them as underdogs, and this creates considerable difficulties for the national Olympic team, Ha said.

Vietnam drew in the same group as Bahrain, Iran and Turkmenistan.

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