Sunday , February 5 2023

Vietnamese in Thailand expect AFF Cup victory as parting gift for coach Park


Vietnamese in Thailand have high hopes that Vietnam would triumph over Thailand in the AFF Cup final on Monday, a fitting parting gift for coach Park Hang-seo.

“I believe Vietnam would secure the championship with a one goal difference in the second leg. Thailand would be on the offense, right to their playstyle, but it would also be a chance for Vietnam to showcase their defensive, counterattack play,” Nhat Thieu, a 30-year-old working at a Vietnamese firm in Bangkok, said about the final match at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Thieu said the first leg of the AFF Cup final, which happened Friday last week, was truly exciting, ending with a 2-2 tie. However, he said he was a bit disappointed to see Vietnam letting Thailand score.

Thieu said the Monday night match would be a challenging one for Vietnam, as Thailand have a slight edge when it comes to skills, and they would also be playing at their home turf.

“Thailand have a ‘stable’ mindset, and they always seem to be confident whenever they face off against Vietnam. They are more coordinated, elegant…,” he said, adding that Vietnam seemed to lack a bit of coordination during the first leg, and also made some regrettable mistakes.

Thieu said he was most worried about the fact that Vietnam would have to face the pressure from around 25,000 spectators at Thamasat stadium. Nevertheless, he has faith that Vietnam will prevail.

“I hope Vietnam would win 2-1.”

Huyen Tam, 20, a student at the Bangkok University, said she has been following Vietnam’s journey throughout this year’s AFF Cup, and she does not feel as assured as she was like when Vietnam won the championship in 2018. She said she hopes Vietnam would make appropriate adjustments to secure victory Monday night.

Tam said she and her friends would take the bus from the Bangkok University to the stadium early, so they could see the bus carrying all the Vietnamese players to the field. Tam said buying tickets directly was difficult, so her group had to resort to social media to secure the tickets, at around ฿770 ($23.33) for seats on the side of the field for fans of the Vietnamese team.

AFF Cup organizers said there were about 20,000 tickets available online, which were sold out within 5 minutes. Ticket prices range from around ฿250 to ฿770.

The final match on Monday also attracts a large number of Vietnamese fans coming to Thailand to support the national team.

Vu Minh, 28, who used to work in Thailand, said he had bought tickets early and formed a group to travel to Thailand from Vietnam. They decided to meet in Bangkok before traveling to the Thamasat stadium together.

Monday’s final would be the last football match where Park Hang-seo is the head coach for Vietnam’s national men’s football team. The team have been under Park’s tutelage for the last five years.

“One of the reasons why I and everyone were so enthusiastic to go to Thailand and watch the match is because this would be a goodbye match for Park as the head coach of the national team,” Minh said.

The game will start at 7:30 p.m. and be reported live on VnExpress International.

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