Coach Tan Cheng Hoe hopes to end a disappointing streak against coach Park Hang-seo when Malaysia play Vietnam in the AFF Cup today at Singapore’s Bishan Stadium.
“Defeating Vietnam is not an easy task. I have faced them many times in the past years but couldn’t win once. In five encounters with Park Hang-seo, I lost four and drew one. Hopefully, I will get the first win against him. I really want a good result in this game,” Tan told Malaysian media.
In AFF Cup 2018, Malaysia faced Vietnam three times. In the group stage, they lost 0-2 and when they met again in the final, Malaysia drew 2-2 in the first leg before losing 0-1 in the second, giving the title to Vietnam.
Three years later, in the second round of the World Cup qualifiers, Malaysia once again failed to beat Vietnam, losing 0-1 and 1-2 in two legs.
“Since 2019, Vietnam have been on a new level. They advanced to the final round of World Cup qualifiers, their players have improved in both skills and playing style,” Tan said.
Malaysia are on top of group B in AFF Cup this year after beating Cambodia and Laos. However, their strength will be put to the real test when they play Vietnam, a crucial group match that will decide its leader.
“We hope to extend our winning streak in AFF Cup this year. I don’t think about drawing against Vietnam. I want a victory. My players are also really excited for this game. They want to surprise the opponent with a win and claim the ticket into the semifinals,” Tan said.
Before playing Vietnam, Malaysia’s squad was reduced to 20 players after four contracted Covid-19. Their key defender, Dion Cools, will also miss the game because of a conflict in schedule with his Danish club Midtjylland.
Today’s game will kick off at 7:30 (Hanoi time) and will be reported live on VnExpress International.
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