Vietnam coach Nguyen Huu Thang happy despite first leg defeat

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national team manager Nguyen Huu Thang was happy with his players’ performances after their 2-1 defeat to in the first leg of their AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 semi-final series.

Hansamu Pranata took the lead early for Indonesia on Saturday evening with a strike after seven minutes before Nguyen Van Quyet tied the score for the Golden Stars 10 minutes later.

A second half penalty from striker Boas Salossa gave the Garuda a much-needed victory, leaving the Vietnamese players stunned.

“I’m feeling happy even though we got the result we didn’t want,” Nguyen said after the match. “We had a chance to finish with a draw but the final score wasn’t for us.

“I’m satisfied with the team but we must improve our defence in order to avoid conceding goals in the next match”

Meanwhile, Indonesia manager Alfred Riedl was proud of his players for the win in front of a boisterous crowd which included Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

“The strikers played very well tonight. They are getting smarter, more so than in the group stage and this was arguably their best performance so far”, the Austrian coach told reporters.

Following a match which included two penalty kicks, Reidl demurred when asked to comment on the performance of the referees.

“I don’t want to speak too much about the referee because I only saw [the match] from the bench,” he said. “I will look at the video tapes, but the calls looked fair enough tonight.”