|Home advantage: Vietnamese players in training. They will play Malaysia in the second-leg match of the AFF Cup semi-final round today. — VNS Photo Quang Thang
HA NOI (VNS) — Hosting the second leg match of the ASEAN Football Federation-Suzuki Cup's semi-finals will give Viet Nam a huge advantage, but Coach Toshiya Miura insists on taking precautionary measures to guarantee victory.
Meanwhile, Malaysian boss Dollah Salleh is very confident of the team's capacity to give their all in order to land a spot in the final.
Viet Nam defeated Malaysia 2-1 in the first leg game that also saw some local fans assaulting Vietnamese supporters at the Shah Alam Stadium last week.
"We have an advantage, but there is no guarantee that we will win the game if we don't work for it," Miura was quoted on the aseanfootball.org as saying during a pre-match briefing yesterday in Ha Noi. "People are saying that it will be an easy game since we are playing at home, but I disagree. We will have our work cut out for us tomorrow."
He said the team will have to play to its best levels for 90 minutes and all of his players, including captain Le Tan Tai and striker Le Cong Vinh, whose 29th birthday was yesterday, were in good condition.
The Japanese coach will welcome the return of two outstanding players, striker Vu Minh Tuan who has scored two goals, and concrete defender Nguyen Xuan Thanh. The duo missed their previous match because of cards and an injury.
He did not reveal the strategy for today, saying he was still to decide that, depending on how the game shapes up.
On the visitors' side, Salleh will see the return of Mohd Shukor Adan and Mohd Amri Yahyah. Both players are expected to provide the team with more attack options as the coach searches for ways to overcome a disadvantage in this regard.
He said Malaysia will play with all their might to win, and while they know that success will not come easy, they also believe that anything is possible in football.
He hoped that his players, who were strongly affected by the violence, will be able to follow the strategies, which they had recently prepared, to the hilt.
"We have to put in 200 per cent effort if we want to make it to the final this year. The conditions are good for us to play the best football. It is a little cold, but we should be able to adapt to the prevailing condition," he said on aseanfootball.org.
Thailand land spot in AFF Cup final
Thailand defeated the Philippines 3-0 in the second-leg match of the ASEAN Football Federation-Suzuki Cup's semi-final round in Bangkok yesterday.
The hosts faced nearly no difficulty in beating their visitors, who tried their best in the game at the Rajamangala Stadium. The Filipino athletes, however, failed to utilise their strong points.
Kroekrit Thawikan pocketed a double within 30 minutes of the second half after Chanathip Songkrasin opened the score in the sixth minute of the match.
The Thais also wasted many scoring chances presented to them throughout the game, their strikers failing to get the ball in despite the wide-open goal mouth.
With an aggressive 3-0 result after two legs, the Thais earned a berth in the final round of the regional tournament.
They will face the winner of the clash between Viet Nam and Malaysia, which will be played at the My Dinh Stadium tonight.
The two-leg final will be played on December 17 and 20 on home and away fields. — VNS