Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam are ready to take on Laos in their ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup Group A opener today, according to Việt Nam’s head coach Park Hang-seo.
The South Korean coach said in the press release ahead of the match that his team had prepared carefully for their first victory.
“Away matches are always difficult. The match against Laos won’t be easy but we have prepared well in terms of spirit and physical strength,” said 59-year-old coach Park.
“I’ve watched Laos in recent matches and analysed the way they play. I think that Laos will play defensively and we are prepared to deal with that. I believe Việt Nam will take three points from the game,” said Park.
“As a football manager I always have pressure on me but I know how to deal with it. I’ve experienced it in South Korea, China and Indonesia. Of course I know Vietnamese people expect a lot in this competition so we have to do our best to satisfy them,” Park added.
Park also expressed his pride at leading a young Vietnamese team.
“There are 15 players under 23 and eight over 23 in our team, so we have a very young squad. Their enthusiasm and self-motivation will make for an interesting competition,” said Park.
Việt Nam’s strong performances over the past year have led to huge expectations among supporters.
Việt Nam won the silver medal for the first time ever at the AFC U23 Championship in China in January. They also advanced to the semi-finals of the Asian Games in Indonesia in August.
Meanwhile, coach V Sundramoorthy of Laos said they would try their best in the upcoming game.
“We ony had three weeks to train for the regional event. The match with Việt Nam will be a big challenge for us. I know that Việt Nam’s level is higher than us but we will provide many difficulties for them. In football, anything can happen. We will play with all our hearts,” said Singaporean head coach Sundramoorthy.
Sundramoorthy said that most of the Lao players are young and lack of experience but with the support of home fans, they will have a good match.
The Laos Football Federation has announced it will give the team 200 million Lao kip (about US$23,700) if they beat Việt Nam.
In other news, Indonesian referee Thoriq Munir Alkatiri, 29, will officiate the match. Alkatiri became a FIFA-level referee in 2014. He also won best referee of the Indonesian Premier League in 2014. In the Indonesian Premier League 2018, Alkatiri refereed 15 matches.
According to transfermarkt.co.uk, Alkatiri is a strict referee. During his 15 matches, he branded 54 yellow cards and two red cards, and awarded four penalties.
The match will take place at 7:30pm at the Laos National Stadium in Vientiane, which can host 20,000 spectators. — VNS