Players train in Buriram for the final of King's Cup. — Photo courtesy of VFF
HÀ NỘI — The manager of the Curacao national team has said he respects Việt Nam, but his side will be going all out to life the King’s Cup today in Buriram, Thailand.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference yesterday, Remko Bicentini said it would be a difficult match against the AFF Cup champions, and Việt Nam showed their class in defeating Thailand on Wednesday.
The 51-year-old said Việt Nam had physical players who ran for 90 minutes and stuck to their game plan.
He added that as Curacao’s first King’s Cup tournament, his side had prepared well and were ready for the final.
Curacao defeated India 3-1 on Wednesday to advance to the final.
While Việt Nam’s side is mostly made up of domestic V.League 1 players, many of the Curacaoans ply their trade in Europe.
Captain Cuco Martina is on loan at Dutch side Feyenoord from English Premier League side Everton and previously played for Southampton.
Leandro Bacuna is another with European pedigree, having made 96 English Premier League appearances combined for Aston Villa and Cardiff.
Several other members of the squad have competed at various levels in the Netherlands, with many of them born there.
At the press conference, Park Hang-seo said: "In fact, Việt Nam won the final when we beat Thailand 1-0 on Wednesday."
"Việt Nam and Thailand have been vying for top position in the region for a long time. It's lucky that we won the match.
"Curacao in the final are not an easy rival but as a head coach I want one more win to and bring the trophy home," Park said through an interpreter.
The South Korean also said the build up to this tournament was the first time he had heard of Curacao and he was surprised to learn they were ranked 82nd in the world, with many players competing in overseas.
While his players mostly play in Viet Nam, most of the Curacao team play in Europe.
"We have played strong teams like Japan who also have players competing in Europe. But Curacao would be different. They were born there. They have good form and technique. It will be a big challenge and a great experience for Vietnamese players," Park said.
Defender Nguyễn Văn Kiên said the Vietnamese players had nothing to worry about in the final as Park and his coaching staff have prepared them well.
The final is at 7.45pm local time and will be live aired on VTC, VOV and VTV6 channels and will be live blogged on vietnamnews.vn.
The third-place match between Thailand and India is at 3.30pm, also at the Chang Arena. — VNS