Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese football experts and players are determined to overcome the Philippines in the ASEAN Football Federation Championship on Sunday.
Head of Việt Nam football delegation Dương Vũ Lâm said his players were in high spirits are going for the win in the semi-final match which could be considered their toughest game in this competition.
Lâm believed in the young team and said: "Victory, why not? They are young. Some of them joined the national team for the first time. But they are all determined and think positively for the semis."
Midfielder Đỗ Duy Mạnh had the same opinion when he spoke with reporters after training.
"They are a strong team. They have naturalised players competing with better physical strength. However I myself and teammates will be 100 per cent focused for the match. We set our own goal of winning. The coaching board will share tactics for the whole team while each of us will have our own plan (to ensure our duty)," said Mạnh.
One of the Filipinos, Alvaro Silva, played in Việt Nam in the past.
"I know him very well as he played for my club Hà Nội FC. He is a good player. I will talk to my teammates about him."
In that match Việt Nam, under coach Park Hang-seo, will have their best players, five of them scored goals to the Philippines in the past competitions.
Meanwhile Sven-Goran Eriksson is facing with the shortage of human resources.
The team is now officially down to 18 men when some players ended their campaign earlier than schedule.
Among them, John-Patrick Strauss is back to Germany to play for his club FC Erzgebirge Aue. Daisuke Sato has also left the team to return to Romanian club Sepsi OSK. And Luke Woodland was ruled out because of injury.
Their captain Phil Younghusband has taken to Instagram to urge fans to support their national team ahead of the match.
Younghusband pointed out the number of home supporters attending matches in the group round was lowest among other countries. It is even behind East Timor who played their ‘home’ matches in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.
“In our semi-finals in the past, we have sometimes struggled in the away ties because of the atmosphere and the hostile crowds that cheer on their home team and intimidate us. We need to do the same on our own turf.
“That’s why I ask for your support this Sunday vs Việt Nam in our home leg of the semi-final,” he wrote.
The match will be at the Panaad Stadium at 6.30pm Hà Nội time on Sunday.
This will be their fifth meet in the AFF Cup. Việt Nam won two and lost two.
Earlier, the first semi-final between Thailand and Malaysia will be at 7.45pm on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia coach Tan Cheng Hoe spoke at the press briefing: "Overall, you can see that Thailand have the most balanced squad in the tournament. They are not only potent in attack, but also have very experienced defenders who have commanded the backline very well.”
“It is very important that we do not concede a goal in the fist leg. A positive result will be a big motivation to go to Bangkok,” he talked to foxsportsasia.com.
Thailand’s coach Milovan Rajevac said: “Malaysian football is evolving, it is going in the right direction. But several other things need to fall into place. They have several good young players but for success, you need a mixture of experienced players and young players who are hungry for success. If they are tactically disciplined, focused, motivated, and if they have good coaches to lead them, I’m sure Malaysia will qualify for the next cup.” — VNS