Coach Vengadasalam Selvaraj said Laos are unlucky to play defending champions Vietnam in the first game of AFF Cup.
“Facing Vietnam in the first game is an arduous task and the players know it. We will do our best and give all we have,” Selvaraj told a pre-match press conference Sunday.
Laos have played in AFF Cup 11 times but haven’t made it past the group stage once. In the 2018 edition, they lost all four matches in this stage.
In this year’s tournament, Laos will field many young players. But their biggest hope is 31-year-old striker Billy Ketkeophomphone, who used to play in France for Ligue I club Angers in 2015.
“The players are confident at the moment. We are happy to play in AFF Cup and we will try our best. But to be honest, playing Vietnam will be really tough. Everybody knows Vietnam currently has a quality squad and that they are really something different,” Selvaraj added.
Laos winger Kyda Souvanny is hopeful for at least a point against Vietnam.
“We have prepared physically and tactically for the game with defending champions Vietnam. Laos will give it our all and hopefully score a draw. Of course, Vietnam are the strongest opponents that Laos will play in AFF Cup this year. They have quality players. Malaysia are up next. Indonesia and Cambodia are at a lower level but we cannot underestimate them,” Souvanny said.
The game between Vietnam and Laos will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Monday. It will be reported on VnExpress International.
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