Coach Brad Maloney doesn’t want to take the game between Vietnam and Malaysia into extra time when the two teams meet in the semifinals of SEA Games 31.
“I want to finish the game in 90 minutes. Nobody wants to extend the game. It’s not that I’m confident, the main point is we don’t want to play past 90 minutes. We will have to face the talented players of Vietnam, but we are ready to play well within 90 minutes,” Maloney said in the press conference Wednesday.
Malaysia started SEA Games 31 with a 2-1 win against Thailand then stayed on top of group B until the last game, when they shared points with Cambodia and dropped to second place.
According to Malaysian media, their team have chosen a difficult path because Vietnam are the hosts and defending gold medalist.
The SEA Games 31 semifinals between Vietnam and Malaysia will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at Viet Tri Stadium in the northern province of Phu Tho.
“We only have one training session in Phu Tho, so of course, there will be difficulties. But we will prepare the best for this game,” Maloney said.
The Malaysia coach also highlighted three overage players of Vietnam, Do Hung Dung, Nguyen Hoang Duc and Nguyen Tien Linh. In this SEA Games, Malaysia didn’t call up any overage members.
“If we want to be champions, you have to beat strong opponents. Therefore, it’s only right if we play the hosts. I really respect Vietnam; they are the strongest team in this tournament. There’s no easy game. I didn’t call up overage players because I don’t want to win this at all costs. I want to give young players more opportunities to prepare for U23 Asian Cup. Winning SEA Games is important but we also have to prepare for the future,” he added.
The match be reported live on VnExpress International.
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