Vietnam look to spring surprises

Vietnam coach Alfred Riedl looks past the Asian Cup and towards regional glory.

    Vietnam coach Alfred Riedl wants to conquer South
    East Asia before taking on the whole continent [AFP]

    Alfred Riedl, Vietnam coach, knows his side have little hope at the Asian Cup in a group full of champions and instead says his aim is to make them the best in Southeast Asia.

    "We are in a very strong group," said the 47-year-old Austrian, in his third stint as Vietnam coach.

    "Everybody won something. Only Vietman could not win until now."

    Apart from the hosts, Group B also includes Japan, who are chasing a third straight Asian Cup title, 2007 Gulf Cup champions United Arab Emirates and 2006 Asian Games gold medalists Qatar.

    "Our target is, firstly, the number one spot in Southeast Asia," said Riedl, who became Vietnam coach for the first time in 1998, suffering a loss to Singapore in the final of the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) Championship the same year.

    He took up the post for a third time in 2005 on a contract which will see him through this year's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and the Asian Olympic football qualifiers for Beijing.

    Riedl said Vietnam was ready for the Asian Cup despite having no title hope.

    "We know all the three (other) teams are stronger than us," he said.

    "We hope we can produce a surprise, of course

    "If you don't, you should not play."

    The hosts open their campaign against the UAE on Sunday, before taking on Qatar on July 12 and Japan on July 16, all at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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