HANOI (21 Sept 2021) – Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo is not underestimating any of their opponents in Group B of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 which will take place from 25 November 2021 to 1 January 2022.
Following the official virtual draw today in Singapore, the defending champions have been drawn in Group B against Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos.
Group A are Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore and the winner of the qualifiers between Brunei and Timor Leste.
“The teams in the same group with Vietnam are tough, strong opponents, therefore, we need to try our best in each match,” said Hang-seo.
“Apart from Brunei Darussalam and Timor Leste teams which will be playing in the Qualification Round, according to the results in two groups, almost all the teams in the ASEAN Region are at the same level, therefore, the draw results are normal.
“Our first target is to focus and to be successful in the group matches, then the next steps and plan will be for the semi-finals and final matches later.”
“The draw is interesting, challenging and exciting. We need to be happy with the draw because you cannot expect what you want. The biggest challenge is to qualify for the group stage.” – Brunei Darussalam Head Coach, K. Rajagobal
“I really appreciate all the efforts and support from AFF, sponsors and FFC for holding the AFF Suzuki Cup even in such a difficult situation with the pandemic.
“It is very challenging for us to face any country in our group. That is why we would like to prepare as much as we can. It is a good opportunity to gauge our progress in order to fight against Vietnam who are rapidly developing their level of football.” – Cambodia Head Coach, Ryu Hirose
“Overall, the draw result is good for us. The important thing is we need to know the venue and time for AFF Suzuki Cup’s schedule so that we can prepare our team properly. Whoever the opponent that we will compete in this tournament, we will prepare our team so they can perform well. Vietnam and Malaysia are strong teams but we will try our best to get the win.” – Indonesia Head Coach, Shin Tae Yong
“It has always been a tough competition for us. History has shown, this time it’s not any different but Laos is up for the task and willing to take the challenge. I am happy with whatever that comes because it gives my players an opportunity to play with the best and put themselves up for the test.
“Without doubt Malaysia and Vietnam will be the focus but the others are not pushovers, so we have to be careful and with good preparations, we will be ready for any kind of challenge” – Laos Head Coach, Selvaraj Vengadasalam
“It is a fairly balanced draw. Either way, we still have to play either Vietnam or Thailand, so for me it does not matter where we are. And with Indonesia in the group, it will definitely add more spice to the competition.” – Malaysia Head Coach, Tan Cheng Hoe
“First of all, we are very happy that the AFF Suzuki Cup is back after a long time. My compliments to all involved for the return of this event in this very challenging time. We hope the tournament will bring joy and happiness to all people and we are looking forward to be a part of it.
“It will be very nice to be back on the field against very good teams. We will start preparation soon and where we are hopeful to play a good part in this year’s tournament. The biggest challenge for us is to prepare for it well. After a long break caused by the Covid-19 pandemic we need to get back to match fitness. Therefore, we are looking at ourselves first before concentrating on the opposition. We are looking forward to December. Well done again to all. – Myanmar Head Coach, Antoine John Paul Hey
“It is like a replay of 2018 with Thailand, Singapore, and Timor-Leste with Myanmar replacing Indonesia. The draw result is an interesting one as we will play against three teams we faced three years ago, but I don’t think you can take any team lightly.
“Thailand is the strongest team in the group, but there are still three other teams. I don’t think we should just focus on Thailand, but we have to treat each match with the same intensity.” – Philippines Head Coach, Scott Cooper
“I am excited to finally know our opponents in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 after the various delays to the tournament. There are no good or bad teams in the tournament and we will not underestimate any side. We should be ambitious, give our best and always aim to be a challenger for the trophy, but we should also take each match as it comes and target to progress out of the group first.
“With the Singapore Premier League ending next month, we will have some time to prepare for the AFF Suzuki Cup and plans are being made to ensure we can make the most of the time we have.
“I am also excited as this will be my first time leading the National Team into a tournament since taking charge. I heard about the AFF Suzuki Cup while I was in Japan and I know it is an important tournament in Southeast Asia and to Singapore fans, so I am greatly looking forward to playing the tournament with my boys.” – Singapore National Team Head Coach, Tatsuma Yoshida
“It is a very challenging task, due to the situation surrounding the pandemic and changes in international match calendar – games at the international level has been difficult to organize and every team in ASEAN has improved massively in recent time. Although, Thailand is five (5) time champions we will not underestimate our opponents and we will do our very best for the fans. Whether we will win this competition for the sixth time remains to be seen but what is sure is that we will give our best effort.
“Myanmar, Philippines and Singapore including the team from the play-off, will definitely give more than 100% as every team would like to become champions. It will be a very tough game against all the team and every team will be a massive challenge for us.” – Thailand National Team Manager, Mrs. Nualphan Lamsam
“I am glad that the AFF Suzuki Cup will be played in December, after the uncertainty of the last several months. It’s good to know who our opponents will be after the play off.
“When you talk about football, it is a huge mistake when coaches think that one opponent will be easier than others. The same respect that I have for the defending champions is the same respect that I have for the Brunei team for the playoffs in December. It will be a huge challenge for us as this year we did not have a local competition, I have been given quite a long time to gather the national players throughout the year, so we had time to prepare, we will do our best for our country and make our people proud.” – Timor Leste Head Coach, Fabio Joaquim Maciel da Silva