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VietNamNews

VN ready for Malaysia challenge

Update: November, 23/2016 - 09:00
Worthy rivals: Coach Nguyễn Hữu Thắng shakes hand with Malaysia coach Ong Kim Swee at a press conference yesterday ahead of the match today. — Photo vff.org.vn
Viet Nam News

Football

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam coach Nguyễn Hữu Thắng wants to beat Malaysia in the second match of Group B of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2016 today to confirm his team’s place in the event’s semi-finals.

In the first match on Sunday, Việt Nam overcame the pressure of tens of thousands of Myanmar fans to beat the hosts 2-1 thanks to Nguyễn Văn Quyết and Lê Công Vinh. This win is a strong tail wind for the next match..

“I don’t expect an easy game. Malaysia will be as tough as Myanmar and we have to put on another good performance. I will tell my players that concentration is again key,” said Thắng on the websire fourfourtwo.com

Coach Thắng also praised Malaysia’s team.

"Malaysia have a diversified way of playing. I think that the chance for the two teams is 50-50,” said Thắng.

“I was impressed by the way Malaysia played against Cambodia, with skill and spirit,” Thắng added.

The match will take place at 4.30pm (Malaysian time) and the weather is expected to be hot.

“Playing with Malaysia at 4.30pm is a great difficulty. Players can only show their best skills when they have the best physical strength. However, we have had training sessions to cope with such hot weather. Besides, the psychology is also very important. Việt Nam beat the hosts Myanmar, so I believe my players will also play well today,” said Thắng.

Meanwhile, Malaysia also came from behind to beat Cambodia 3-2 in the opening match in Yangon. Although Malaysia earned three points, the team’s unconvincing performance was a disappointment to fans. Cambodia is the group’s weakest team but they put up a strong fight against Malaysia.

“We have to be very patient and wait for opportunities. Việt Nam will be tough and difficult to break down, but I’m banking on the heat as an advantage for us. We can’t afford silly mistakes at the back and must be efficient at the other end,” Malaysia coach Ong Kim Swee was quoted as saying on the website fourfourtwo.com.

Malaysian striker Amri Yahyah, who scored two goals in the match against Cambodia, said he hoped his team would overcome its shortcomings in the coming game.

Việt Nam only lost one match in 2016, while Malaysia has suffered defeats to Saudi Arabia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

Malaysia has only beaten Vietnam once in the last six attempts dating back to 2010. While Việt Nam won on four occasions and drew once. At the AFF Cup in 2014, Việt Nam outplayed Malaysia to win the first leg of their semi-final 2-1 in Kuala Lumpur, but fell flat in Hà Nội, where Malaysia raced to a 4-1 lead by half-time before settling for a 5-4 aggregate triumph to reach the final.

Answering foreign media, caption striker Lê Công Vinh said: “I have worn the national football team’s jersey since 2004 and met Malaysia many times, such as in friendly tournaments, Asian Cup qualifying rounds and the AFF Cup. It is difficult to face Malaysia because they own skillful players and they are very strong. Two years ago, we lost to them in the AFF’s semi-final. It was very sad. This year, we believe we can beat them.” — VNS

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