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Viet Nam seek to thwart Indonesia

Update: December, 07/2016 - 09:00
On the ball: Midfielder Lương Cuân Trường of Việt Nam (centre) plays in the AFF Cup semi-final first leg match against Indonesia in Bogor on December 4. The second leg will be played in Hà Nội today, December 7. — VNS Photo Tuấn Tú
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam needs a minimum 1-0 result against Indonesia today to reach the finals of the ASEAN Football Federation Cup after waiting for nearly 10 years.

The second leg of the tournament’s semi-final will be played in the capital city today.

Việt Nam lost 1-2 in the first leg away game last Sunday in Bogor, Indonesia. Scoring an away goal is an advantage for the former champions who will now have to score a goal and prevent their opponents from scoring.

Meanwhile, goalless draw, or a 1-1 draw is enough for coach Alfred Riedl and his team to advance to the last match of the tournament.

The coaches of both teams do not want the result to be decided on penalties.

Coach Nguyễn Hữu Thắng of Việt Nam was upbeat as he talked about his team’s chance to turn things around at a press conference yesterday in Hà Nội.

“We lost, but my players showed their true style of play, and that made me happy,” said Thắng about the first defeat since he took charge of the national team in March.

“Indonesia have powerful wingers who played very well in the first leg. Their captain Boaz Solossa is good player in his 30s. He will be watched in the second leg match, which will be different as I have (planned) several changes and it will be a must-watch match for all fans,” said Thắng.

“Nobody can be certain about something, but but I am sure that anything can happen in football. So let’s see what will be happening after 90 minutes of the match.”

Thắng said he wants his players to put the last match’s result behind them and focus on the fact that they can now go out and win the tie on home soil.

“It is interesting that I was one of Riedl’s players and 20 years later I am in the opposite side. He does not want to lose, nor do I. We are playing at home, so we have a big chance. My players are strongly encouraged and ready to win with the spirit of fair play,” he said.

Captain Lê Công Vinh said Việt Nam will come out with all guns blazing in today’s match.

Vinh missed several chances in Bogor and was disappointed with his performance.

“It was a game that I thought that we should not have lost. I thought that a draw would have been a fair result. We have the away goal which is very important. So we will have to make sure that we go all out for this game,” he said.

On the other side, Riedl confirmed that Indonesia would do everything to make use of their advantage.

The Indonesian squad arrived Việt Nam on Monday to familiarise themselves with the weather and the stadium. He said the match would much more difficult than that at home but his players were determined to find a berth in the finals in official time.

“I don’t expect the game to go into penalties. It will be decided within regulation time,” Riedl told reporters.

“I don’t mind losing a friendly, but not this game. I believe that this game should not be down to luck (like in penalties). That is just so unfair.

“It is incredible how far we have come in this event, considering everything. We have nothing to lose,” said Riedl.

The match, played at the Mỹ Đình Stadium, will have. Chinese referees.

Việt Nam won the AFF Suzuki Cup on home soil in 2008. The Indonesians made it to the finals in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2010, but have never won. — VNS

 

 

Primed to fight: Coaches Nguyễn Đức Thắng (second left) and Alfred Riedl (second right) of Viet Nam and Indonesia address the pre-match press conference yesterday. — VNS Photo Khiếu Thanh Hà

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