Thailand coach satisfied with AFF Cup draw against Vietnam

By Lam Thoa, Hieu Luong   January 13, 2023 | 09:30 am PT
Thailand coach satisfied with AFF Cup draw against Vietnam
Thailand coach Mano Polking during the post-match press conference of the Vietnam-Thailand AFF Cup game on January 13, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
Coach Mano Polking said he was satisfied with Thailand’s 2-2 draw in the first leg of the AFF Cup final on Friday, even though he thinks he could have beat Vietnam.

"My players fought well in this game and the result was near perfection, but the team still needs to concentrate for the next game," Polking said at the post-match press conference.

The AFF Cup applies the away goal rule from the semifinals onward.

Before the match, Polking’s simple target was to score one goal at My Dinh Stadium. So he was content when Thailand did even better. With the 2-2 draw in Vietnam, Thailand only need to draw 0-0 or 1-1 in the second leg at home on Monday to lift the trophy.

"Vietnam’s second goal made the result a bit less perfect. But we will work hard in the second leg at Thammasat Stadium," Polking added.

Vietnam started the game with confidence and scored with a Nguyen Tien Linh header in the 25th minute.

However, Vietnam paid the price for defensive mistakes when they conceded two goals at the start of the second half.

Thailand star Theerathon assisted both goals. Polking said he was proud of how Thailand neutralized the pressure from Vietnam to reverse the situation.

But Vietnam then managed to equalize with a thunderous strike by substitution Vu Van Thanh in the 88th minute.

"Vietnam started the game well, they defended solidly and scored in the 25th minute. But we kept our composure. We took back control right after the goal. The equalizer at the beginning of the second half helped Thailand get more confidence. We become more dangerous with our counter-attacks and scored the second goal," he said.

Although Thailand couldn’t win due to a late equalizer by Vu Van Thanh in the 88th minute, Polking still considered Thailand’s performance at My Dinh Stadium excellent.

"We scored two beautiful goals; the players are doing well and still improving day by day."

AFF Cup final: Vietnam 2-2 Thailand

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