Malaysia head coach Kim Pan-gon is confident that he has found out the weaknesses of Vietnam which he hopes to defeat in the AFF Cup clash on Tuesday.
“Vietnam is one of the strongest teams in Southeast Asia,” Kim said at a press conference on Monday in Hanoi. “But I know their weaknesses.” The native of South Korea declined to elaborate on Vietnam’s weaknesses, saying he would only share that information with the members of his team.
Kim, 53, became Malaysia’s head coach in early 2022 but already coached the team in 14 games, winning 10, drawing two and losing two.
Malaysia won the first two games of the 2022 AFF Cup, beating Myanmar 1-0 and Laos 5-0 to top group B. If Malaysia defeat Vietnam on Tuesday, they will advance early to the semifinals.
However, it will not be an easy task. Malaysia have failed to win against Vietnam for the past five years, ever since coach Park Hang-seo took over the team.
Coach Kim said the game on Vietnam’s home ground at the My Dinh National Stadium on Tuesday might be his “toughest game” so far as the head coach of Malaysia.
“Vietnam played too well recently,” said Kim. “They are full of experience after the big games in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. However, we have nothing to be worried about. Malaysia are confident and will play a powerful game tomorrow.”
Kim is the third South Korean coach to take charge of a Southeast Asian national team. Park Hang-seo coaches Vietnam and Shin Tae-yong is coaching Indonesia. Kim said he is excited to face fellow South Korean Park in this game.
“I remember facing Park’s team when we were still in South Korea,” recalls Kim. “Park is a respectable man and is more experienced than me. I really respect him and I will do my best for the game tomorrow. I want a victory for Malaysia to advance early to the semifinals.”
The game between Vietnam and Malaysia will kick off at 7:30 p.m. (Hanoi time) in My Dinh National Stadium and it will be reported live on VnExpress International.
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