Vietnam coach quits

HANOI, Dec 12 (AFP) - Vietnam football coach Edson Tavares has resigned after defeat by Indonesia put the joint hosts on the brink of elimination from the Tiger Cup, state media said on Sunday.

The Brazilian has been replaced by Tran Van Khanh after the 3-0 loss left Vietnam relying on Singapore dropping points against lowly Laos and Cambodia to make the semi-finals of Southeast Asia’s international showpiece, reports said.

"Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) accepted Tavares’ proposition not to coach the team during next game against Laos and to go back home," VFF president Mai Liem Truc was quoted as saying by the Thanh Nien newspaper.

"VFF also decided to appoint Vietnamese coach Tran Van Khanh for the job."

State media also lashed out at the VFF the loss, which came after Vietnam threw away a one-goal lead to draw with Singapore in their opening match.

"This painful and humiliating defeat is just too much of a shock for millions of Vietnamese," Lao Dong daily said, revealing that "many Vietnamese players cried after the game."

"The three Indonesian goals were three buckets of ice on the head of the VFF leaders," Thanh Nien commented.

Vietnam thrashed Cambodia 9-1 in their previous fixture.

Tavares and Vietnam have had a long and tumultuous history. The 45-year-old Brazilian, the first ever foreigner to coach Vietnam, quit the post in January 1995 after only three months following a furious spat with the federation and the squad’s sponsors.

But he signed a new one-year contract last March to revitalise the national squad following years of lethargic performances.

The red-and-golds finished last in their World Cup qualifying group behind South Korea, Lebanon and Maldives.


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