Park warns Vietnam players to maintain high level of concentration for Philippines clash

Wednesday, 2018-12-05 17:48:50
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Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo (second from left) shakes hands with Philippines coach Sven Goran-Eriksson during the press briefing in Hanoi on Dec 5.
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NDO – Despite their first-leg advantage, Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo quoted the 2014 failure to warn his players to maintain optimal concentration for the 2018 AFF Cup semi-final return fixture against the Philippines, during a pre-match press briefing in Hanoi on December 5.

Vietnam have one foot in the title match after beating the Philippines 2-1 away in Bacolod a few days ago. Accordingly, the “Golden Stars” only need a draw while hosting Sven-Goran Eriksson’s team at My Dinh National Stadium tomorrow evening to fire themselves through to the final.

However, addressing the press conference this morning, Park reminded his players not to forget the lesson learnt four years ago, as the Vietnamese squad conceded a 2-4 defeat against Malaysia at My Dinh despite winning 2-1 away in the first leg.

“Vietnam played well in the first leg and won 2-1, but I and my players always remember the 2014 lesson. All the team members must stay focused for the Dec 6 match. The entire team are now ready for the meeting. We have made concentrated, serious and perfect preparations for tomorrow’s game”.

In the first leg at Panaad Stadium on Dec 2, Anh Duc and Van Duc scored to seal a narrow victory for Vietnam. However, in the last few minutes Vietnam dropped their concentration, with substitutes Duc Chinh and Cong Phuong missing a number of clear-cut chances. Park said that he already had a meeting with the players and reminded them about this issue. “In the previous match, my players squandered a number of opportunities to score in the last 15 minutes of play. We reviewed the video and reanalysed each situation to address the shortcomings and weaknesses”.

The 58-year-old tactician highly appreciated the Philippine players’ good physique, revealing that he has already worked out the manner to cope with the opponents’ playing style of being willing to directly collide while fighting for the ball.

Philippines coach Sven-Goran Eriksson speaks at the press briefing.

For his part, the Philippines coach Sven-Goran Eriksson affirmed his side’s determination to beat Vietnam with a two-goal margin to advance to the final.

“The Philippines squad will come to Hanoi not to simply travel but to secure a victory. Tomorrow’s game promises to be difficult, but we will try our best. Despite a number of lineup issues, my starting XI are now in the best physical and mental conditions,” the Swedish tactician said.

He stated that the Philippines reviewed the first-leg defeat against Vietnam and drew experience in order to deploy more effective tactics for the return fixture in Hanoi on Dec 6. Eriksson affirmed that his team would play on the offence to win the game with a two-goal margin and book a ticket to the title match.

“We must attack to score at least two goals. I believe in that result. Beating Vietnam with a two-goal margin will send the Philippines through to the final match”.