|The Vietnamese national football team train in Thailand ahead of the AFF Cup final second-leg final at the Thammasat Stadium tonight. Photo thanhnien.vn|
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese national football team is ready to face Thailand at the AFF Cup’s second leg final at the Thammasat Stadium tonight, knowing they face a tough task to be crowned winners.
After the first leg at the Mỹ Đình National Stadium finished 2-2, Việt Nam must win or achieve a high-scoring draw at Thammasat to lift the trophy.
Coach Park Hang-seo said: “Việt Nam will have one last game. It will not be an easy match with Thailand having home advantage. I hope our team will be focused, disciplined and determined.
“We are the national team, representing the Vietnamese people. This is the time when we all need to unite for the colour of the national flag to bring glory to the country."
Meanwhile, midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải said that the Vietnamese team will be at their very best in tonight’s decider.
“The 2-2 draw in the first leg final against Thailand is a valuable lesson for the Vietnamese team to review,” Hải said.
“In the second leg, the whole team needs to be more focused at all times,"
Striker Nguyễn Tiến Linh is in top form with six goals in the competition, equal to Teerasil Dangda of Thailand.
Linh has had 19 goals for the national team, surpassing former footballer Nguyễn Hồng Sơn to rank third on the list of best scorers. Huỳnh Đức (21 goals) is second and Công Vinh (51 goals) out in front as the country’s top scorer.
Linh, who plays for Bình Dương Club is determined to all out for a decisive victory in Thailand, to bring joy to Vietnamese fans.
Former national team coach Henrique Calisto, who helped Việt Nam beat Thailand in the finals to win the AFF Cup in 2008, also said that Việt Nam are a formidable team and can beat Thailand if the players play confidently.
The referee who won the best referee award of the J.League 1 2021, Jumpei Lida from Japan, will officiate the match.
Lida became a FIFA referee in 2011 and has refereed in many major tournaments such as the Asian Cup qualifiers, Asian World Cup qualifiers, AFC Champions League and AFC Cup.
Meanwhile, Thai midfielder Weerathep Pomphan is determined to join the Thai team to overcome Việt Nam to successfully defend their AFF Cup title at home.
"We have to win the next match after drawing in the first leg. As for the away goal, I don't think it is too important. In the last game at home, we will play our best for the fans. I believe that we can win and gain the championship," Khaosod newspaper quoted Pomphan as saying. VNS