KUALA LUMPUR (28 August 2017) – Thailand and Malaysia have promised a grand finale to the men’s football event at the SEA Games this year as they look to lock horns at the Shah Alam Stadium tomorrow night.
On paper, defending champions Thailand might be considered as the favourites as afterall, they have won the title at the last two editions (2013 in Myanmar and 2015 in Singapore) of the biennial meet.
And in the last three meetings which also included an AFC tie of the Under-23 qualifiers last month, the Thais have emerged victorious.
But as Thai assistant coach Naruephon Kaenson said past results do not matter and that they have all the respects for the way Malaysia have qualified for the final.
“Past records do not guarantee anything. And certainly, it cannot ascertain how the final will be because in the final game of the tournament, the team which make full use of their opportunities and commit less mistakes who will win,” said Kaenson.
“We have to play our usual game as we know that Malaysia will be full of confidence being backed by their fans. But we have to control the situation and play good football to win gold.”
In the meantime, Malaysian head coach Dato’ Ong Kim Swee said that his players should approach the game as any other game and not pay too much respect to the Thais.
“Thailand are a very good team. They have been a consistent performer all throughout the age group competitions,” added Kim Swee.
“But playing in front of our own fans should give us the motivation to do better. We must maintain our mind set of wanting to win every single match that we play in.”