Vietnam can win on Thailand's ground: coach Park

By Lam Thoa   January 15, 2023 | 06:29 am PT
Vietnam can win on Thailand's ground: coach Park
Coach Park Hang-seo in a press conference before the AFF Cup final second leg between Thailand and Vietnam on January 15, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo said Vietnam entered the AFF Cup final second leg against Thailand with disadvantages, but he is confident they can win on the opponents' ground, like they did in the past.

Thailand got two away goals from a draw in the first leg, and they will get to play the second leg at home on Monday.

Besides playing under the heat unlike the chill weather of Hanoi, and the pressure from 25,000 Thai fans, Vietnam will have to win or draw 3-3 in the second leg to claim the title.

However, coach Park believes that his team are strong enough to win this match.

"Many fans are worried because of the result in the first leg, and it’s true that Vietnam are at a disadvantage. But the team came here to win and we will try our best to do it for the fans. We have encountered Thailand many times and won on their home ground in 2019. I always believe that Vietnam can win on Thailand’s ground," Park said in a press conference on Sunday afternoon.

In the first leg at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on Friday, Vietnam opened the scoring thanks to Nguyen Tien Linh's header, but Thailand came back with two goals in the second half, both assisted by Theerathon Bunmathan. The host escaped defeat thanks to a long-range strike of the substitution Vu Van Thanh in the 88th minute.

Park said Theerathon Bunmathan was the key player of Thailand, but he believes his players can deal well with the Thailand captain in the second leg.

"In the first half of the first leg, we did a good job in marking him, but in the second half, the team made some mistakes. We need to take that as a lesson to do a good job in marking Bunmathan tomorrow," Park added.

Thailand's coach Mano Polking said at a press conference earlier that he would choose to play offensive in the second leg, despite the advantage in the first leg. Park hopes that Polking will keep his word and play openly, instead of going heavy on defense like in the first leg.

"I think Polking doesn't want to play just for a draw tomorrow. They wouldn’t want to give the Thai fans a draw at home and then win the championship thanks to the away goal rule," Park said.

The AFF Cup final second leg with Thailand will be Park's last game as Vietnam head coach. His contract with Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) will expire by the end of January.

The 65-year-old coach said whether it's his first or last game, he always prepares for it with his best effort. Park also thanked the support from fans in his home country South Korea during the past five years working in Vietnam.

"I hope that in the future, even when I’m longer the head coach, the relation between Vietnam and South Korea will still be great and continue to reach new heights," he said.

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