Vietnam football coach bitter over loss to Philippines

Posted at 12/06/2010 8:27 PM | Updated as of 12/07/2010 1:52 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Vietnamese national football coach Henrique Calisto threw a fit after his team’s stunning 0-2 loss to the Philippines in the ongoing ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup tournament.

The Portuguese criticized the Philippines’ defensive tactics, which he described as “poor.”
 
"If they think they can win the championship based on that, then poor football. If the Philippines think they can win playing that way then my dear, poor, poor football in this region," he said in an interview published on the tournament's official website
 
"Football is not this, football is not putting eight players in front of the area with no offensive system," he claimed. "They were fighting and I respect the players but if you think this is football then you are wrong." 
 
The Philippines pulled off the competition’s biggest upset by beating Vietnam, the defending champion, in front of 40,000 Vietnamese fans at the My Dinh National Stadium on Sunday night. 
 
Goals from Chris Greatwich and Phil Younghusband and goalkeeper Neil Etheridge's clean sheet secured the victory for the Azkals.
 
Calisto said the Philippines “put the bus in front of the goal,” describing the 2 flanks of defenders and midfielders that Philippine XI coach Simon McMenemy deployed against the Vietnamese.
 
"My way is different. You can play and lose but you can lose with honour. They didn't have an offensive system,” Calisto said.
 
"I told my players that the Philippines defend very well but they don't care about counterattacking, they only pay attention in defence. Until you score one goal, our job is very difficult and I told the players that. If you look at possession of the ball, if you look at shots, if you look at crosses maybe there was 70 or 80 percent for Vietnam and 20 or 30 percent for Philippines,” he added.
 
Calisto refused to shake McMenemy's hand after the match.
 
McMenemy said he was taken aback by the insult. 
 
"It kind of upset me at the time just simply because his only word to me... were 'I won't shake your hands, You're not a fair play guy," he said in an interview over Skype with ANC's The Rundown on Monday.
 
"That's something I don't... I maybe fairly young in a job of this standing but I won't take that disrespect off anybody. For him not to shake my hand... "I think more than anything, [it was] a real lack of class," McMenemy said.
 
3 scoring chances, 2 goals
 
The Philippines’ British mentor, meanwhile, said the victory has yet to sink in. 
 
"I'm pinching myself, I'm not sure we have done what we have done," said McMenemy. "I keep thinking I'll wake up in bed in the Sheraton hotel and we'll still have the game to play.” 
 
"We knew we could defend, we knew we were disciplined enough but we didn't know if we could go up the other end and score goals. We knew that would be our issue so we worked hard in training on simple things like converting breakaways when we are on the run," he said.
 
Before the match, McMenemy had revealed that he will use a counter-attacking tactic against the Vietnamese. 
 
"That was an incredible feat considering they are the Philippines and where they have come from. To go and turn over a powerhouse like Vietnam is incredible. If you keep working hard the luckier you get. We had three chances and scored twice,” McMenemy told the AFF website.
 
The Azkals, who are now on top of Group B, will only need to draw their next match against Myanmar on Wednesday to advance to the semifinals.
 
Vietnam, meanwhile, will have to beat fellow ASEAN football powerhouse Singapore before advancing to the knockout stage.