Rhysh Roshan Rai, official commentator of the AFF Cup 2022, said Indonesia focused too much on defender Doan Van Hau in their 0-2 loss against Vietnam at the semifinal Monday night.
Indonesian midfielder Asnawi Mangkualam (number 14) fouls Vietnam Doan Van Hau in the 34th minute of the AFF Cup semifinal second leg on January 9, 2023 at My Dinh Stadium, Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
“There were times when I felt that Indonesia lost focus on playing football,” Rai told VnExpress after the second leg of the semifinals at My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi, where Vietnam defeated Indonesia to secure a ticket to the finals.
“There were times when they focused too much on Van Hau.”
At the 47th minute of the Monday match, Hau made a long pass that found Pham Tuan Hai, who tried to get a shot but it was blocked by Jordi Amat. And from that corner, captain Do Hung Dung’s pass found Tien Linh again as he had an unstoppable header to double the lead for Vietnam.
“Initially midfielder Marc Klok accompanied Tien Linh, but gave up the mission to follow Van Hau,” Rai said.
He said Hau played much better on Monday than he did in the first leg on Friday, when he thought that the 23-year-old could have received a red card with a two-foot kick in front of striker Dendy Sulistyawan.
Before the second leg, Indonesia coach Shin Tae-yong went on Instagram to criticize Hau’s fouls in the previous matches, including in the semifinal first leg with his team.
“The efforts of the players should not be buried by the referee. Referees and players must have fair play together and I hope that incidents like this will not happen again,” Shin wrote in Korean and Indonesian in his post, which garnered over 44,000 comments.
He posted two videos that feature Hau’s tackles against Indonesian players Dendy Sulistyawan and Ricky Kambuaya in their goalless first leg on Friday night. In both of these situations, Omani referee Omar Mubarak did not penalize Hau.
Another video showed Hau elbowing Malaysian defender Azam Azmi to prevent him from moving closer to the box during a group stage match on December 27, when Vietnam finally won 3-0.
In Monday’s match, many Indonesian players fouled Hau or provoked him.
In the 74th minute, midfielder Klok deliberately fell on the field while standing next to Hau who was clasping his hands behind his back.
Hau ended the match with a yellow card from a shoulder push.
Rai, a freelance football presenter, commentator and pundit with over 10 years of experience, said that Vietnam completely deserved the Monday victory.
“Vietnam should be commended for playing as a fierce team,” he said.
With the victory, Vietnam extended the record of keeping clean sheets in the AFF Cup to seven matches, including six matches at this tournament and one from the previous.
The opponent of Vietnam in the final is the winner of the remaining semifinal between Thailand and Malaysia on Tuesday. In the first leg, Malaysia won 1-0 against Thailand.
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