Chanathip Songkrasin is positive Thailand would dethrone Vietnam in AFF Cup this year as the teams will meet in the semifinals this week.
“We didn’t think that we would meet Vietnam in the semifinals. We were all expecting to face Indonesia. But that’s also fine with us. In the semifinals, all opponents are strong. We need to stay really focused,” Chanathip told Thai media before a training session Monday.
Thailand finished first in group A with four straight wins and it’s thought they would play Indonesia in the semifinals. But a big surprise happened, as Indonesia took the top spot of group B after winning 4-1 against Malaysia in the last group stage game. They have 10 points like Vietnam but placed above with a higher number of goals. Therefore, Indonesia will clash with Singapore in the semifinals while Thailand meet their archrival Vietnam.
“We cannot lose against Vietnam in this round,” Chanathip added. “We cannot let our preparation turn meaningless. Of course, the semifinals will be tougher than the group stage. But Thailand’s target is to enter the final and win the title.”
In AFF Cup 2018, Thailand lost against Malaysia in the semifinals, while Vietnam defeated Malaysia in the final to claim the crown.
Thailand haven’t won against Vietnam since 2017. In their recent four encounters, the former lost two and drew two.
“Thailand have prepared for all scenarios. Of course we cannot predict them all but we will try our best to get a good result against Vietnam,” Chanathip said.
The first leg of the semifinals between Vietnam and Thailand will take place Thursday and the second leg, on Sunday.
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