Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo said he had not forgotten Vietnam’s defeat by Thailand in the previous AFF Cup, and the final on Friday is a chance for redemption.
Vietnam’s coach said at a press conference on Thursday that Vietnam had achieved a goal that it had set before this tournament: making it to the final.
Park affirmed that the team will not stop there, saying they have a new goal of playing well in the two legs of the final with Thailand, the first leg at home on Friday and the second leg away on Monday next week.
“During my five years in Vietnam, I only lost one game against Thailand, which is the semifinal first leg of the 2020 AFF Cup,” he said.
“This is a chance for redemption. In my last tournament with the team, I want to win the title and dedicate it to the people who have supported us.”
The contract between Park and the Vietnam Football Federation will expire at the end of January, and the two sides have agreed not to extend it.
Captain Do Hung Dung said at the press conference that the team want to win the title as a parting gift to Park.
But the 65-year-old coach said: “I think the players shouldn’t be under that pressure because of me. As a national player, you must win it for the fans, that’s the most important thing.”
Vietnam reached the final with an impressive defensive record, not conceding a single goal since the beginning of the tournament. In the semifinals, the team drew Indonesia 0-0 at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, before defeating them 2-0 in the second leg on the home field at My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi.
Vietnam have four players with yellow cards in the previous matches and they will be suspended in the second leg if they got booked again in the first leg. But Coach Park said he does not think this will be a problem.
“Our goal in the first leg is to win,” he said. “We prioritize this target so we don’t care about getting booked.”
The first leg of the final will take place at 7:30 p.m. (Hanoi time) on Friday at My Dinh National Stadium. The second leg will take place three days later in Bangkok. Both games will be reported live on VnExpress International.
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