|Việt Nam players seen in a practise They will meet Cambodia in the SEA Games women's football semi-final round on May 12. Photos of VFF|
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese women's football coach Mai Đức Chung expressed his appreciation for host Cambodia, who will play Việt Nam in the 32nd SEA Games women's football semi-final match on May 12 in Phnom Penh.
Speaking at a press conference on May 11, Chung congratulated Cambodia for reaching the final-four round of the SEA Games for the first time.
"In Southeast Asia, women's football has been strongly developed. Countries including Cambodia have supported women's football," said Chung. "It is our honour to play against the host team. We have seen their remarkable progress. They play well and we respect them."
Chung said his coaching team watched them and saw that it was a team of equal quality and fitness level.
Chung appreciated Cambodia as being as strong as Thailand, the Philippines and Myanmar.
"Cambodia has big defenders while also having proactive midfielders with several playmakers. Many supporters will come to encourage their team. Việt Nam therefore has to be on high alert," said Chung.
|Coach Mai Đức Chung of Việt Nam (second right) and coach Gao Fulin of Cambodia shake hands at the press briefing ahead of their SEA Games semi-final match.|
Captain Huỳnh Như of Việt Nam also took part in the briefing.
“After knowing our semi-final rival, we sat down and discussed our plan," said Như.
"In our latest match at the 2019 Southeast Asian Championship, we won big (10-0). But it was four years ago. Now, Cambodia have made big steps to develop. They played well against Thailand and other rivals. It is not easy to beat them. In the semis, we have to be focused and strictly follow tactics. We will have a determined match and win,” Như said.
Adding to his captain's opinion, coach Chung said: "The match Như talked about was before Chinese coach Gao Fulin took charge. Now he is here and he helped the team improve. In the semi-finals, all teams are strong. We will have to work hard to beat them".
On the other side, Gao praised defending champions Việt Nam's power.
"Playing against Việt Nam is our honour. We will do our best and hope that players will deliver a good game," he said. "Together, with the support of local fans and officials, we will make a competitive semi-final match."
The Việt Nam and Cambodia match will be held at the Olympic Stadium while in the other semi-final game, Thailand will play Myanmar at the Army Stadium. VNS