Coach Mai Duc Chung highlighted Vietnam's weak spots in the recent friendly match against New Zealand and asked his players to quickly fix problems prior to their World Cup campaign.
|Annalie Longo of New Zealand (left) and Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang of Vietnam during the international friendly match at McLean Park on July 10. New Zealand win 2-0. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Hanoi - Coach Mai Duc Chung highlighted Vietnam's weak spots in the recent friendly match against New Zealand and asked his players to quickly fix problems prior to their World Cup campaign.
The SEA Games champion suffered a 2-0 defeat to New Zealand in a friendly on July 10 at McLean Park in Napier.
“I saw their effort but their handling of the ball was not good enough," said Chung at the post-match briefing.
"New Zealand were thirsty for a win after a 10-match losing streak before the start of the World Cup, in which they are a co-host. Players made use of their better form and physique to create threatening opportunities for the Vietnamese challengers. They were not afraid of fierce duels but tried to keep the ball at all times. It is a team of equal-quality players," he said.
Chung said Vietnam conceded both goals in the first half when players had not caught up with the pace of the game. Vietnamese defenders did not keep close eyes on New Zealand's players. They were much better in the second half.
"I will have to adjust our plans. Players must run faster and work with the ball. We also have to improve our passing skills. Their fitness is the main thing that I am pleased about regarding my team."
Speaking with reporters, forward Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha said the Kiwis were strong, ran fast and approached the Vietnamese box quickly. Meanwhile, the cold weather was a big problem that prevented her team from playing well.
"We could not play as flexibly as we expected with such cold weather. I hope that we will adapt to the conditions in the next few days. And we should have special warm-up exercises to help us ready for World Cup games," said Nha.
Her captain Huynh Nhu shared her opinion.
"The temperature here is very different from Vietnam. It really affected our performance. This friendly was for us to get familiar with the weather," said Nhu who was back in action after two weeks of injury.
It is winter in New Zealand and the temperature is usually under 10 degrees centigrade. The Vietnamese players were from Hanoi where it is summer and the temperature is up to 38 degrees.
"We will have a discussion with the team to analyse our game and try to adapt to the cold and prepare for the next friendly with Spain," said Nhu.
Vietnam will play Spain on July 14 in a closed-door match, their last game to prepare.
Vietnam is No 32 in the world while Spain is No 6 which and home to 2021 and 2022 FIFA Golden Ball winner Alexia Putellas.
The World Cup will begin on July 20. Vietnam's first match is against the reigning champion USA on July 22.
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