|Vietnamese players practise for the M-150 Cup in Thailand. They will play the hosts for bronze medal today. — Photo courtesy of VFF|
HÀ NỘI — Coach Park Hang-seo of Việt Nam and Zoran Jankovic of Thailand said winning a friendly tournament is not important but they want to win the third-place match today in Buriram.
The two teams suffered unexpected losses in their last group round match on Wednesday although they both had a big chance to play in the final.
Park said he knew that Việt Nam lost 0-3 to Thailand in the 29th Southeast Asian Games’ group round last August, but what he cared about was Việt Nam’s performance today.
He further said Việt Nam’s target was the finals of the Asian U-23 Football Championship, so the result against Thailand was not important but a win would be good.
He said his players were well prepared to win and though they have lost to them, they were not afraid of them.
In the coming match, Park will not try a test line-up but select his best squad. They have been asked to play as a team with discipline and limit mistakes.
Captain Lương Xuân Trường also shared the point with his coach. He said Thailand have always been a big team in the region who are difficult to beat but Việt Nam were ready.
Speaking to reporters at the press briefing yesterday, Jankovic said his team has prepared for the coming match like always.
Jankovic said he was disappointed with Thailand’s loss to North Korea on Wednesday but he may create chances for players who did not compete a single minute in this competition.
He said Việt Nam was not stronger than Thailand. Either Việt Nam or Uzbekistan was good for his team (to warm-up for the next event) but he preferred to play in the final (against Uzbekistan) and then the bronze-medal match (versus Việt Nam).
The Serbian said like Việt Nam, Thailand focused on the continental tournament next year. The M-150 Cup was an opportunity to improve their playing style.
Midfielder Ratthanakorn Maikami said the match against Việt Nam would be interesting. It would be one of the final tests of his team before they leave for China’s Asian event.
Maikami said Việt Nam was a potential rival but Thailand has defeated them in the past. Hence, there was no need to worry about Việt Nam.
The match will kick-off at 4pm at the I-Mobile Stadium. The final between Uzbekistan and Japan will follow. — VNS