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Vietnam lose 0-3 to Indonesia, coach Troussier sacked
  • | VNS | March 27, 2024 05:22 AM

The Vietnam national football team's hopes for the second round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers are dimming, after a disappointing 0-3 defeat at the hands of Indonesia on Tuesday.

Vũ Văn Thanh (lower, 17) and teammates were outclassed at home in a disappointing defeat.

Despite Philippe Troussier's insistence on redirecting the press' questions on his future, VFF announced to the press later on that it had terminated Troussier's contract effective immediately.

Back to the match, a Vietnam side hungry for victory pushed forward in the first five minutes. However, mistakes in defence brought Indonesia two goals in the first half, courtesy of Jay Idzes and Ragnar Oratmangoen, before Ramadhan Sananta ended the nightmare at Mỹ Đình with a late goal in the second half.

Troussier, in his final match as Vietnam head coach, brought on his, perhaps, almost-best personnel, with superstar Nguyễn Quang Hải still on the bench.

Many fans predicted a loss, with some even wanting Vietnam to lose so Troussier would be sacked, but few people could have predicted that the Golden Star Warriors would capitulate at home.

Indonesia, powered by their new naturalised players, was a vastly different team than the Indonesia team of just a few years earlier. Three of them constituted the defining factor that brought and doubled the Garudas' lead right in the first half.

In the ninth minute, Thom Haye's corner met the goliath 1.91 metre Jay Idzes, whose towering header gave Filip Nguyễn no chance and opened the score for Indonesia.

Fourteen minutes later, Ragnar Oratmangoen, who is playing in the Dutch Eredivisie for Fortuna Sittard, collected the ball easily and danced past three Vietnamese defenders before firing the ball in the back of Filip Nguyễn's net and making it 2-0 for the away team.

Troussier made changes after his team conceded twice, but the changes were mind-boggling as Nguyễn Đình Bắc replaced a very on-form Vũ Văn Thanh right in the 31st minute, and defender Võ Minh Trọng was brought on for midfielder Khuất Văn Khang in a situation where Vietnam desperately needed a goal.

Vietnam had 69 per cent of possession, and 13 shots, but still could not find Ernando Ari's net. The Golden Star Warriors' best chance was Tiến Linh's close-range shot in the 28th minute that went horrendously wide.

The last 20 minutes was haunting for Vietnamese fans, as thousands left the stadium, and the anti-Troussier chants and banners were loud and clear. On the bench, Nguyễn Quang Hải shed tears in disbelief, as the substitutions ran out and he was not brought in, but left to watch his team suffer.

Indonesia put the final dagger in the heart of Vietnamese fans in the eighth minute of added time, again from a corner by Thom Haye. Chaos ensued in front of Filip's goal and Sananta was able to capitalise with a tap-in, finalising the score at 3-0.

With this result, Vietnam's chance to progress through the third round of the World Cup Qualifiers is very slim. Whoever replaces Troussier at the helm must win the last two matches against Philippines and Iraq in June, while their opponent Indonesia cannot get more than one point in their final two matches.

Troussier, nicknamed "The White Wizard", ended his one-year tenure as Vietnam national football team head coach with the worst win percentage of any coach in the team's history, at just 31 per cent.

The Vietnam Football Federation announced on Tuesday evening that it had terminated Troussier's contract.

With his sacking, the Vietnam Under-23s head coach position is also in doubt, as the 2024 AFC U23 Asian Cup is also nearing.

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