AFF Cup: Vietnam upbeat ahead of key match with Malaysia

Thursday, 2018-11-15 16:10:47
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Vietnam’s manager Park Hang-seo (L) shakes hands with his Malaysian counterpart Tan Cheng Hoe during a press brief on November 15, a day before the two teams’ key Group A match at My Dinh Stadium on Friday evening. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)
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NDO – Vietnam and Malaysia both expressed their confidence ahead of the key ASEAN Federation Football (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2018 Group A match at Hanoi’s My Dinh Stadium on November 16.

AFF Cup: Vietnam to play tenth clash against Malaysia

Speaking with the media at a pre-match press brief on Thursday, Vietnam’s head coach Park Hang-seo confirmed that his players are in good form and spirits, and are ready to take on strong rivals Malaysia at home tomorrow evening. The team had a week to prepare for the match since their 3-0 win over Laos in the opening group match on November 8.

"Huy Hung is still recovering from injury but the rest of the squad are fine. Over the past few days, the coaching staff have been watching Malaysian matches. Based on what we have learnt about our next opponents, I have the right tactics for the encounter tomorrow. I believe that Vietnam will play a good match with Malaysia," the 59-year-old Korean strategist added upbeat.

However, Park remained cautious of Malaysia's strength after their first two wins against Cambodia and Laos: "I do not think Malaysia have come here with the desire to win only one point. As a coach, everyone wants to win, so I do not think they will be satisfied with a shared point with Vietnam.”

From the previous match with Laos, coach Park pointed out two major problems for Vietnam, which are the weakness in handling long-ball and dead-ball situations. "We have tried to improve during the last week of training. Hopefully, the players will play better tomorrow against Malaysia."

Vietnam’s captain Van Quyet (L) and his coach Park Hang-seo express their confidence ahead of the important match with Malaysia. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)

Vietnamese captain Van Quyet also expressed his determination before playing the key match with Malaysia: "The Vietnamese players will come out with the utmost desire for victory, regardless of who the opponents are. We are determined to show our team’s spirit to fight for national pride."

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s coach Tan Cheng Hoe expressed his respect to the hosts: "Vietnam are a strong team and a leading candidate for this year's title. Vietnam have many advantages when playing at home in the next match, as well as having more days off than Malaysia. I hope my players will keep up and play well as they did before."

The 1968 born Malaysian coach also admitted that he has been watching Vietnam football for a long time and guest that the home side will play on the attack tomorrow. Therefore, Malaysia will focus on defence and try to block Vietnam’s key players such as Quang Hai, Van Quyet and Cong Phuong. "With six points in hand, we will deploy proper tactics for the upcoming game. This is definitely a difficult match, so we will be happy with a draw," said Tan.

Vietnam are currently ranked third in Group A with three points following the victory over Laos, while Malaysia are on top with six points after two victories over Cambodia and Laos. The direct confrontation between the two teams is considered crucial in deciding the top spot of Group A. In addition, Myanmar also showed their strength after demolishing Cambodia 4 -1 three days ago.

The match between Vietnam and Malaysia will take place at 7:30 pm tomorrow at My Dinh National Stadium.