SINGAPORE (22 Dec 2021) – Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo is keeping his gameplan close to his chest as his counterpart from Thailand, Alexandre Polking looks to play the patient game in the first leg of semi-final 1 of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 tomorrow night at the National Stadium.
The last time the two sides met in the AFF Suzuki Cup was back in 2012 in the group stage that saw Thailand scoring a 3-1 win in Bangkok.
While their most recent encounter was in Group G of the second round qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup that ended in a scoreless draw in the two matches that were played in 2019.
And the battle tomorrow will be keen between the defending champions Vietnam and five-time winners Thailand.
“Thailand is a familiar opponent and they are always the candidate for the champion. They have the quality but they do not overpower the other teams,” said Hang-seo.
“I believe that we can do something in this game. While we find the solution to beat them, the Thais must also find ways to beat us.”
Added defender Do Duy Manh: “we will try our best to be competitive.”
In the meantime, Polking said that there’s a strong rivalry between both teams even though they have not played each other in the last few editions of the AFF Suzuki Cup.
“We feel confident where we will come up with the best plan and strategy for this game. We know the quality of our team and it is for that reason, there’s no such thing as the A or B team,” said Polking.
“The Vietnam team has been together for quite some time as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the team to do so. And that is exceptional. They have the time to train and hone their game.
“So for us, we have to play the patient game. We may have more possessions tomorrow but Vietnam have not conceded even a single goal in the group matches. So we need to be perfect in the transition and keep to our attacking philosophy.”
Added goalkeeper Siwarak Tedsungnoen: “teams in the semifinals are the best teams here. So it does not matter who we play against in spite of talks that it will be a Thailand-Vietnam final this year. We want to bring the trophy back for sure.”
AFF SUZUKI CUP 2020
SEMIFINAL 2, FIRST LEG – National Stadium
23 December 2021
2030: Vietnam vs Thailand