Stever Darby, former Thailand national coach, said it’s not over for Vietnam despite losing 0-2 to Thailand in the first leg of the AFF Cup semifinals Thursday.
“The key in the second leg for Vietnam is to restore the fighting spirit. In the second leg, whichever team score first can win and go to the final. Vietnam need to be more disciplined and avoid committing unnecessary fouls as well as keeping their composure against Thailand,” Darby told VnExpress.
Darby is an English coach that used to manage Vietnam women’s football team from 2001-2002, the men’s team of Thailand in 2008, and U23 Thailand in 2009. He retired in 2016.
“It was a good game. Vietnam are well organized, strong and experienced after competing in the final round of World Cup qualifiers. For Thailand, they are a team that consist of young talents and experienced players that can decide the match.
Thailand have players like Teerasil Dangda and Theerathon Bunmathan who have done what I’ve been trying to tell Vietnamese players, which is playing football overseas and return with a higher and stronger level,” Darby said.
The 66-year-old coach also commented on the referee decisions of the match.
“They were really bad. They made four major mistakes that could affect the result and most of them were against Vietnam. But I think the main difference is the performance of two players. “Thai Messi” Chanathip Songkrasin controlled the game well and was effective with two goals. For “Vietnamese Messi” Nguyen Quang Hai, he also had two great shots and an excellent pass. But he was unable to turn the game around.”
In the second leg, Vietnam will need to score at least two goals to advance. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. (Hanoi time) on Sunday.
“If I were the Vietnam head coach, I would prohibit the players from using social media during this time. They need to focus to get the job done,” Darby added.
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