Kim promises to take Việt Nam to victory at ASEAN Cup

May 21, 2024 - 20:34
Kim Sang-sik knows Việt Nam's challenges at the upcoming ASEAN Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2024 but he believes to have positive results.


Coach Kim Sang-sik speaks with reporters after the ASEAN Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2024's draw on May 21 in Hà Nội. Photos of VFF

Thanh Hà

HÀ NỘI  Although he knew Việt Nam's challenges at the upcoming ASEAN Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2024, coach Kim Sang-sik believed in his side's opportunity to win.

A draw for the regional football championship was conducted on May 21 in Hà Nội. It came following the launch of ASEAN United FC, the AFF’s official digital platform and @aseanutdfc, focused on the organisation’s four key events, including the ASEAN Cup, where fans could engage year-round with exclusive content.

Accordingly, Việt Nam, winners of the title in 2008 and 2018, will play archrival Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Laos in Group B. In Group A, defending champions Thailand will face former champions Malaysia and Singapore, Cambodia, and the winner of the qualification round play-off. The Thais will chase a record-extending eighth title after victories in 1996, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016, 2020, and 2022.

Brunei Darussalam and Timor Leste will meet in the home-and-away play-off on September 7 and 14 to determine who advances to the group phase. The group phase will begin on November 23, with matches played on a home-or-away basis in a single round-robin format until December 7.

The top two finishers in each group will advance to home-and-away semi-finals, with the first leg to be held on December 10 and 11, and the second leg on December 13 and 14. The finals will be played on December 17 and 21.

“The ASEAN Mitsubishi Electric Cup has consistently proven to be our region’s top football tournament, with record-breaking television and digital viewership with every edition of the event," Major General Khiev Sameth, President of the ASEAN Football Federation, said. "Looking at the official draw today, we anticipate another exciting competition for fans and commercial partners across our region of 660 million people.”

Coaches' opinions

Attending the draw, coach Kim said Việt Nam's squads have recently not had good results when playing Indonesia. This made the local supporters unhappy. However, he said Việt Nam would prepare well for the tournament to secure wins.

"To have a good performance against Indonesia, we will prepare early from now on, and I think we can completely compensate for the past matches. We will try our best to win," Kim told reporters.

A draw result of the ASEAN Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2024. 

Regarding the Philippines, Kim expressed his caution about their potential strength. He said that the Philippines strengthened their forces with naturalised players to prepare for the 2026 World Cup qualifying match against Việt Nam in early June. Regardless of whether these players compete or not, Việt Nam must prepare for all situations.

The ASEAN Cup will be the first task for the South Korean manager, who signed a two-year deal with the Việt Nam Football Federation earlier this month. He was asked to guide Việt Nam to the final of this event.

It is also the first time that he leads a national team in his career. Kim said it was hard to avoid nervousness, but together with the coaching board, he would research all rivals and consult former coach Park Hang-seo to have suitable plans. He knew that he would have to win match by match before reaching the top podium.

"I will try to guide players to compete as a unified team, achieve good results, and give beautiful performances worthy of receiving praise from the local fans," he said. "Although all opponents are not easy, we have an absolute chance to win. We will work hard to reach the final match and get the best result."

In the last edition, Việt Nam set two records as the first team advancing to the final without conceding a single goal and the only team in history to keep a clean sheet in 12 consecutive group-stage matches across three tournaments.

In Group A, coach Ishii Masatada of Thailand also took part in the draw. He refused to talk about the chances of the top two seeds, Thailand and Việt Nam, and the new coach of Việt Nam.

"I don't want to comment on Kim because he just came to Việt Nam. I haven't faced him yet, so I don't know anything about his tactics and style," he said.

The Japanese coach confirmed that he was temporarily not thinking about the ASEAN Cup yet because Thailand was focusing on the World Cup qualification matches against China and Singapore next month.

Coach Kim Pan-gon of Malaysia also attended the event but refused all interview request. VNS